China's Liang sets record at PGA

(China Daily)
Updated: 2010-08-16 09:44
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Six-under 66 earns Watney three-shot lead, young stars lurk near top

SHEBOYGAN, Wisconsin - Nick Watney fired a six-under 66 to take a three-shot lead after the third round of the PGA Championship on Saturday while China's Liang Wenchong set a course record with a sizzling 64.

China's Liang sets record at PGA
Liang Wenchong of China celebrates after making a par putt on the ninth hole during the third round of the 92nd PGA Golf Championship at Whistling Straits in Kohler, Wisconsin August 14, 2010. [Agencies] 

American Watney, whose six top-10 finishes this year include two in majors, moved to 13-under 203 and has a three-shot lead over rising star Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland and American Dustin Johnson, who each shot 67s.

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Liang rolled in eight birdies during a bogey-free round as he went one stroke better than the previous Whistling Straits record set by Miguel Angel Jimenez and Darren Clarke.

"I know how to remain calm and not let the pressure get to me," Liang said. "So I was able to perform very, very well today."

Liang, from Zhongshan, has a chance to become the first golfer from China to win a major championship. South Korean Yang Yong-Eun became the first Asian man to win a major title by winning last year's PGA Championhip.

Liang reached nine-under 207 through 54 holes and is four shots adrift of Watney, tied for fourth with Australian Jason Day (66) and German Martin Kaymer (67).

China's Liang sets record at PGA

Steve Elkington (67), Zach Johnson (69), Jason Dufner (69) and Jim Furyk (70) are at eight-under 208.

Tiger Woods' quest for a 15th major title hit a snag in the third round as he shot a even-par 72 and now has a lot of work to do as he is 10 shots back of the leader.

Watney, who won for the second time on the PGA Tour at last year's Buick Invitational, competed in two previous PGA Championships but missed the cut in both.

"I am going to go out there tomorrow, put a tee in the ground on No 1 and just focus on that shot," Watney said. "It is going to be a long day and a tough day, but I am really looking forward to it."

Watney, 29, had three consecutive birdies on the front nine, including a 15-foot putt on the par-five fifth hole. He opened his third round with birdies on the first and second holes and finished with a bogey on the par-four 18.

McIlroy, who earned his first PGA Tour title earlier this season at Quail Hollow, made birdies on three of his first five holes. He finished with six birdies, 11 pars and one bogey.

"I holed a lot of putts out there," McIlroy said. "I didn't do a lot wrong. I saved pars when I needed to and took advantage of the holes where I gave myself good chances for birdies."

Woods finally completed his darkness-halted second round in the morning but couldn't maintain his solid play throughout the third round. He had three bogeys on the front nine and hit just five of 14 fairways in the third round. His putting and the par-fives gave him the most trouble.

"Unfortunately, you have to make birdies on the par-fives and I haven't done that," Woods said.

Half the field had to finish its second rounds on Saturday morning after darkness halted play on Thursday and Friday.

Woods played in the first two rounds with defending champion Yang, who missed the cut.

European Ryder Cup captain Colin Montgomerie, three-time major winner Padraig Harrington and reigning British Open champion Louis Oosthuizen of South Africa also missed the cut.

Saturday was the first time that the day's action got off on schedule. There have been a total of nearly six hours in fog delays followed by strong winds and rain during much of Friday's play.