Golf

Simpson leads at Quail Hollow

2012-05-06 08:54
Webb Simpson (File)

Charlotte - Webb Simpson soared to the top of a crowded leaderboard after three rounds of the USPGA Tour's Wells Fargo Championship by shooting a three-under 69 at Quail Hollow on Saturday.

Simpson birdied two of his final four holes as he took a one-stroke lead over fellow Americans Ryan Moore and DA Points in the $6.5 million dollar event at Quail Hollow.

"I don't want to get ahead of myself," Simpson said. "I look at the leaderboard and there's so many great players within a shot or two. So I know (Sunday) is going to be a tough day."

Those in the chasing pack didn't include 14-time major champion Tiger Woods, who missed the cut on Friday for just the eighth time in his pro career.

Moore (68) and Points (69) both shot bogey-free rounds and were tied for second at 13-under 203.

Former champion Rory McIlroy registered eight birdies and two bogeys en route to a six-under 66 for 204.

World No. 2 McIlroy, the reigning US Open champion, was tied for fourth with overnight leader Nick Watney, who shot an even-par 72.

The young star from Northern Ireland has a shot at regaining the top ranking this week.

Simpson, who was tied for the lead after the first round, reached a 54-hole total of 14-under 202, capping his round with a two-putt par at 18.

Simpson posted a birdie on the par-four 15th and then rolled in a 12-foot putt for birdie on 17.

He was among seven players who had a share of the lead at one time or another in the round.

Simpson, who won both of his US tour titles last year, said the eight-foot birdie putt on 15 was the turning point.

"I hit a bad drive and had a bad lie in the rough and we actually considered laying it up, but it was one of those moments where you've got to take a chance, and it came out perfect," Simpson said.

Points said he would take the 69 even though he didn't putt very well.

"As a golfer I'm not very happy with the way I'm putting," Points said. "But if I focus on that instead of focusing on the 69 with no bogeys, my dinner is not going to taste very good, so I'm going to focus on the 69 with no bogeys and be excited about the position I'm in."

McIlroy liked his chances heading into Sunday's final round after he made par on the par-four 18 to get into the clubhouse at 12-under.

"I definitely feel like I've left a couple out there," McIlroy said. "The three-putt on 16 was pretty disappointing. You know, a 66 is a good score out there, and I feel like I've got another one of those scores in me, and looking forward to doing that tomorrow."

Third round scores on Saturday from the US PGA Tour Wells Fargo Championship at the par-72 course in Charlotte, North Carolina: 202 Webb Simpson (U.S.) 65 68 69 203 Ryan Moore (U.S.) 65 70 68

D.A. Points (U.S.) 66 68 69 204 Rory McIlroy (Britain) 70 68 66

Nick Watney (U.S.) 68 64 72 205 Rickie Fowler (U.S.) 66 72 67

Stewart Cink (U.S.) 65 69 71 206 Geoff Ogilvy (Australia) 71 70 65

George McNeill (U.S.) 70 68 68

John Senden (Australia) 66 68 72 207 Ben Crane (U.S.) 70 64 73 208 Jonas Blixt (Sweden) 68 73 67

Richard Lee (U.S.) 70 69 69

Noh Seung-Yul (South Korea) 68 70 70 209 Robert Garrigus (U.S.) 69 72 68

Patrick Reed (U.S.) 66 74 69

Brian Davis (Britain) 66 74 69

Tommy Gainey (U.S.) 68 72 69

Jason Day (Australia) 70 70 69

Jeff Overton (U.S.) 68 71 70

David Toms (U.S.) 74 65 70

Martin Flores (U.S.) 68 70 71 210 Tom Gillis (U.S.) 73 68 69

Sean O'Hair (U.S.) 72 69 69

Camilo Villegas (Colombia) 71 70 69

James Driscoll (U.S.) 71 70 69

Spencer Levin (U.S.) 72 68 70

Ben Curtis (U.S.) 69 70 71

Jonathan Byrd (U.S.) 69 69 72 211 Phil Mickelson (U.S.) 71 72 68

Lee Westwood (Britain) 71 72 68

Kyle Reifers (U.S.) 70 72 69

Martin Laird (Britain) 72 70 69

J.B. Holmes (U.S.) 71 71 69

Carl Pettersson (Sweden) 69 72 70

Kang Sung-Hoon (South Korea) 71 70 70

Billy Mayfair (U.S.) 67 71 73

Robert Karlsson (Sweden) 71 67 73

Johnson Wagner (U.S.) 71 66 74

Heath Slocum (U.S.) 69 67 75

Hunter Haas (U.S.) 68 68 75 212 Kevin Stadler (U.S.) 68 74 70

Brendon De Jonge (Zimbabwe) 67 73 72

Roberto Castro (U.S.) 68 72 72

John Merrick (U.S.) 70 68 74

Rocco Mediate (U.S.) 68 69 75

Arjun Atwal (India) 68 69 75 213 Will Claxton (U.S.) 71 72 70

Troy Matteson (U.S.) 74 69 70

Cameron Tringale (U.S.) 69 74 70

Josh Teater (U.S.) 69 73 71

Jim Furyk (U.S.) 71 71 71

J.J. Henry (U.S.) 73 69 71

Brian Harman (U.S.) 67 74 72

Ryuji Imada (Japan) 69 72 72 214 Kevin Chappell (U.S.) 72 71 71

Brendan Steele (U.S.) 71 72 71

Dicky Pride (U.S.) 69 72 73

Andres Romero (Argentina) 70 71 73 215 Chad Campbell (U.S.) 72 71 72

Ken Duke (U.S.) 72 71 72

Jimmy Walker (U.S.) 69 73 73

Chris Kirk (U.S.) 75 67 73

Brandt Jobe (U.S.) 72 70 73

Bae Sang-Moon (South Korea) 69 69 77 216 Alexandre Rocha (Brazil) 68 75 73

Marc Leishman (Australia) 75 67 74

Hunter Mahan (U.S.) 73 68 75 217 Gary Christian (Britain) 73 70 74

Aaron Baddeley (Australia) 69 73 75 218 Gavin Coles (Australia) 72 71 75

David Hearn (Canada) 70 72 76

Zach Johnson (U.S.) 70 71 77 219 Harris English (U.S.) 70 72 77

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