Retief Goosen battled to a third round 69 to retain his lead in the Northern Trust Open at Riviera. The South African goes into the final day two clear of Canada’s Graham DeLaet.

Retief Goosen battled to a third round 69 to retain his lead in the Northern Trust Open at Riviera. The South African goes into the final day two clear of Canada’s Graham DeLaet.

Goosen cruised to the turn in 32 but things became difficult for the 46-year-old on the back nine. He made just two pars on the run for home and twice had to make clutch putts to save bogeys. The two-time U.S. Open champion fought hard though and countered four bogeys with three birdies, including a chip-in. In the end he walked off the final green having carded a two-under-par 69.

“It wasn’t easy out there for me,” Goosen said. “Mentally, I had to work hard to try and stay positive and focused. But I’m still in the lead, so that’s a good place to be. Just try and play solid tomorrow and keep the putter warm and see what happens.”

Goosen hasn’t won on the PGA Tour for almost six years.

Canada’s Graham DeLaet joined Goosen at the top of the board after he eagled the opening hole. But he then dropped back with a pair of bogeys. He too fought hard through for the remainder of the round to stick close to the leader. He posted a third round 70 and will go into the final round two back of Goosen.

“He’s a great guy to play with, especially under pressure circumstances, because you can just kind of look at him and see how cool and collected he is with that silky-smooth bomb that he hits off the tee,” DeLaet said. “I’m a little bit more of an emotional player than that, but I’ve learned over the years to not get too amped up or too down low. I think playing with him is a good way to just keep the calm and just go about business.”

Sang-Moon Bae of South Korea fired an impressive third round of 66 to climb through the field into a tie for third place with Carlos Ortiz of Mexico, Spain’s Sergio Garcia and J.B. Holmes of the USA.

Northern Trust Open
Riviera Country Club, Pacific Palisades, California
Feb 19-22, purse: $6,700,000, par: 71

1    Retief Goosen (RSA)    66    70    69    205
2    Graham DeLaet (Can)    70    67    70    207
T3    Sang-Moon Bae (Kor)    71    71    66    208
T3    Carlos Ortiz (Mex)    67    73    68    208  
T3    Sergio Garcia (Esp)    71    69    68    208
T3    J.B. Holmes (USA)    70    69    69    208
T7    Dustin Johnson (USA)    70    72    67    209
T7    Jim Furyk (USA)        71    70    68    209
T7    James Hahn (USA)    66    74    69    209
T7    Vijay Singh (Fij)        66    74    69    209
T7    Jordan Spieth (USA)    69    70    70    209

T7    Angel Cabrera (Arg)    70    68    71    209
T7    Bubba Watson (USA)    70    69    70    209
T7    Ryan Moore (USA)    69    68    72    209

Note: Player score in bold signifies Titleist ball usage