SINGAPORE (AP) — U.S. Open champion Angel Cabrera shot a 1-under 70 to double his lead to four strokes after the third round of the Singapore Open on Saturday.
Cabrera, of Argentina, fired three birdies and two bogeys to finish with a three-day total of 9-under 204 at the $4 million Singapore Open at Sentosa Golf Club.
“I had to work my way around, it was tough, the winds were picking up and the greens are getting very hard,” said Cabrera, who made a 25-foot birdie putt at No. 17.
“I’m feeling comfortable. I’m hitting the ball well. I’ve got a four-shot lead, so that’s a bit of a cushion for tomorrow.”
Four strokes behind in second place was Jin Park of the United States who had three bogeys and one birdie for a 1-over 72 at the remodeled 6,710-yard, par-71 Serapong Course.
Phil Mickelson, who was six strokes off the pace at the start of the round, slipped further down the leaderboard after four bogeys, but got back into a tie for 11th place with birdies on the final two holes for a 2-over 73.
Mickelson’s tee shot on the par-3 17th glanced off the flag and rolled 3 feet away from the hole, denying him a hole-in-one. He finished with an even-par 213.
“I fought hard today even though I didn’t play as well as I wanted to,” Mickelson said.
But Mickelson’s caddie Jim MacKay had to drop out in the middle of play because of an upset stomach.
“It’s the first time in 15 years that he wasn’t able to finish a round,” Mickelson said of Mackay. Mickelson added that he has been suffering from stomach cramps and headaches, exacerbated by the tropical heat. Mickelson’s replacement caddie was his father-in-law, Gary McBride.
An eagle on the final hole lifted Briton Lee Westwood into third place, 4 under.
Westwood briefly overtook Park for second place after four birdies and three bogeys, but slid after a triple bogey on the 185-yard 17th, rated the course’s easiest hole.
“Got off to a poor start with a couple of three putts in the first five holes but battled away which is what you have to do on this golf course,” Westwood said.
Fiji’s Vijay Singh had four birdies and three bogeys for a 1-under 70, six strokes off the lead, and tied for fourth place with two-time defending champion Adam Scott.
“It’s a really tough golf course to judge the distances, the approaches and how much the ball will roll,” Singh said. “I will play a bit more aggressive with the iron shots but you can never be too aggressive.”
Scott, of Australia, had a double bogey on the troublesome par-4 third hole, a dogleg that turns almost 90 degrees left halfway down the fairway, and a bogey on the 12th. But a birdie lifted him to 2-over 73.
“I just didn’t hole a putt,” Scott said. “The greens being so big, it’s quite difficult to get iron shots close. A good iron shot would be to 15 feet on these big greens but my touch was off today.”
At 2 under was Anthony Kang of the United States, who had four bogeys and three birdies.
India’s Shiv Kapur (69), Japan’s Tetsuji Hiratsuka (73), South Africa’s Keith Horne (74) and Australia’s Gavin Flint (74) were tied for seventh at 1 under.
K.J. Choi of South Korea struggled with a 4-over 75 round that included two double bogeys and four bogeys and four birdies.
South Africa’s Ernie Els missed the cut after Friday’s round of 5-over 76, which he called one of the worst he’s played this year. Missing the cut is likely more painful than usual for Els, as he chose to play this event rather than the season-ending Volvo Masters in Spain, jeopardizing his chances of topping the European Tour Order of Merit.