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Moore & Stroud Now in Front at CIMB Classic
While halfway leader Keegan Bradley struggled with a 4-over 76, Ryan Moore and Chris Stroud moved to the top of the leaderboard in the CIMB Classic. The $7 million PGA Tour event is taking place at Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club in Malaysia.
Stroud had a 68 and Moore - the first-round leader after a 63 - posted a 69. The two stand at 12-under 204, a stroke ahead of fellow American Gary Woodland (67) and Thailand's Kiradech Aphibarnrat (69).
Alone in fifth at 206 is veteran Jerry Kelly, who carded one of the day's low rounds, a 66, and another stroke back at 207 are Bradley, Graham DeLaet (68) and Stewart Cink (69).
Moore was sailing along Saturday like he did in the first round with six birdies through 10 holes. But on Nos. 12-16, he bogeyed four holes - interspersed with a birdie - before finishing with two pars, shooting 31 on the front nine and 38 on the back.
"It was almost two different days out there," Moore said. "I got really hot early making a lot of putts, making a lot of birdies and then turned into the backside and still continued some good play and then kind of hit a pretty rough stretch in the middle. I kind of made a mess of it."
As for his poor outing, Bradley said, "Just didn't play very well today, just was pretty ugly . . . I didn't hit fairways today, and I hit a couple balls in the water, a couple bad breaks. I got a bad break on 18. But I'm still only three shots back with one round to play."
For Stroud, a victory Sunday would be huge. The 31-year-old Texan hasn't won in nearly 200 starts and this is the first time he's had a share of the lead through 54 holes. His main task is to minimize mistakes. "That's what I'm really focusing on the most - keep the ball in front of me, let everybody else make mistakes."
Bubba Watson shot Saturday's low round, a 7-under 65 that brought the 2012 Masters champion into a tie for 24th at 212.
Besides being pleased with his round, Watson was happy to get in some competitive rounds. "That's why I came over here is because I knew that I was going to get four days in," said the long-hitting lefty. "Same as in China next week. Getting four days in to practice, to see how I am with these irons, see where I need to tweak, and then have a few months off after that. Yeah, it's a good test, but you know that you're going to come over here and you're going to get to play four days and give it a whirl."
Phil Mickelson continued his steady climb up the leaderboard. After opening with a 71, the 2013 British Open winner has carded rounds of 70 and 68 to reach 7-under 209.
Defending champion Nick Watney has also improved in the last two rounds. The Sacramento native has shot 75, 69 and 70 to get to 2-under 214.
For all the scores, visit http://www.pgatour.com/leaderboard.html.
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