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Bubba Watson’s 65 gives him lead heading into final round of Genesis Open

Northern Ireland’s McDowell is still in contention in California.

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USA’s Bubba Watson has a one shot lead at the Genesis Open (Richard Sellers/PA)

USA’s Bubba Watson has a one shot lead at the Genesis Open (Richard Sellers/PA)

USA’s Bubba Watson has a one shot lead at the Genesis Open (Richard Sellers/PA)

American Bubba Watson takes a one-shot lead into the final round of the Genesis Open after carding a six-under round of 65 on Saturday.

Watson, a two-time winner of the tournament, began the day in sixth but started as he meant to go on with a second shot on the par-5 first landing within inches of the pin.

He holed the putt for eagle and went on to card five birdies – the sole blot on the book a bogey at the par-four 15th.

Patrick Cantlay, who held the joint lead at the half-way point in the tournament, leads the chasing pack.

His round of 69 puts him a shot behind Watson on nine-under, while four players sit a shot further behind.

Graeme McDowell – who was sitting top of the tree after Friday – shot a one-under round and fell to eight-under for the tournament, alongside Tony Finau, Kevin Nau and Cameron Smith.

Dustin Johnson played himself into contention with a round of 64, jumping 45 places up the leaderboard and into tied for eighth.

Starting on the back nine, Johnson began steady carding a birdie, but went on to pick up shots on the 3rd, 4th, 6th and 7th, and an eagle on the 1st.

Rory McIlroy, who missed the cut at last week’s AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, fell to par for the tournament after a round of 73, which included a double bogey in the par-4 12th.

PA