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Watney Joins Mickelson in Lead of Wells Fargo Championship
Nick Watney posted a 1-under 71 to join Phil Mickelson atop the leaderboard in the Wells Fargo Championship. The $6.7 million PGA Tour event is being held at Quail Hollow in Charlotte, N.C. On Saturday, the 7,442-yard par-72 course grudgingly yielded under-par scores due to windy conditions.
After shooting rounds of 68 and 67 for a two-stroke lead heading into Saturday's third round, Mickelson posted a 1-over 73. The four-time major champion and member of golf's Hall of Fame had the solo lead over Watney after a birdie on the par-4 14th hole. But the 42-year-old double-bogeyed the par-5 15th and bogeyed the 16th before parring the final two holes to fall into a tie with the Sacramento native.
Watney, a five-time Tour winner whose last title came at the 2012 Barclays, could have been the outright leader entering Sunday but doubled the par-3 17th before a par at the 18th to get to 1-under on the day. He and Mickelson stand at 8-under 208.
George McNeill (72) is a shot back in solo third after a 72, while two shots behind the leaders are Australia's John Senden (67), Sweden's Robert Karlsson (69), England's David Lynn (71) and Lee Westwood (72), and Americans Ryan Moore (68) and Derek Ernst (72). Senden's 67 was Saturday's low round.
"It's nice to come off to a good start and play well and manage to keep it going," Karlsson told PGATour.com. The 43-year-old now makes his home near Quail Hollow. "It's very testing conditions out there. We've got a lot of wind and the greens are not easy to hole a lot of putts on. So it's very important to keep patient and keep going because you never know what's going to happen. If you get a good streak, it could be very good."
Three behind Watney and Mickelson are Brian Harman (71), D.A. Points (71), Kevin Streelman (71), Jason Kokrak (73) and Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy. McIlroy, who notched his first Stateside title in 2010 in Charlotte at what was then called the Quail Hollow Championship, had a wild third round, carding two birdies, an eagle (on the par-5 seventh), three bogeys and a double on the par-4 ninth.
Defending champion Rickie Fowler posted a 5-over 77 to miss the 54-hole cut of 4-over 220.
For all the scores, visit http://www.pgatour.com/tournaments/wells-fargo-championship/leaderboard.html.