Haas poised for Northern Trust Open repeat

7:02 PM, Feb 16, 2013   |    comments
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Pacific Palisades, CA (Sports Network) - Defending champion Bill Haas fired a 7-under 64 on Saturday to grab a 3-stroke lead after three rounds of the Northern Trust Open.

Haas turned in the low round of the day and jumped into the top spot at 12- under 201 through 54 holes. On Sunday, he'll shoot for his first PGA Tour win since dispatching Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley in a playoff here last year.

A pair of major winners, Webb Simpson and Charl Schwartzel, both shot 68s at Riviera Country Club to move into a tie for second place with John Merrick (70) at 9-under. The 2011 Masters champion Schwartzel is making his PGA Tour season debut.

Overnight co-leaders Fredrik Jacobson and Sang-Moon Bae both failed to maintain the pace on Saturday. The former got caught in the high, dry kikuyu grass on the par-4 fifth and stumbled to a double bogey before eventually ending with a 72.

World No. 3 Luke Donald, who is also making his PGA Tour season debut, shot 70 and moved into a tie for fifth place with Jacobson at 8-under.

Josh Teater (68) and Charlie Beljan (68) are 7-under, Hunter Mahan (68) and Sergio Garcia (69) are 6-under, and Adam Scott (70) is 5-under. Garcia was in second place at the end of the opening round.

Bae, meanwhile, tumbled to 4-under with a third-round 76. The second-year player from South Korea had five bogeys and a double-bogey against just two birdies on Saturday.

Mickelson, Bradley and world No. 8 Lee Westwood are 3-under through 54 holes.

More to follow.

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