Jason Dufner leads CareerBuilder Challenge by two strokes
By Andy Charles
Last Updated: 25/01/16 9:47am
Jason Dufner will take a two-shot lead into the final round of the CareerBuilder Challenge in California.
Dufner had 10 birdies in a third-round 64 at La Quinta but, such was the scoring quality on Saturday, it was only good enough to add a single shot to his advantage.
He started with two bogeys and three birdies in his first six holes, but Dufner was almost unstoppable on his back nine, having started from the 10th.
The 38-year-old birdied the first, then picked up shots on five successive holes from the third and concluded his round with another birdie at the ninth to reach 23 under par for the tournament, which is played across three courses.
"I told the guys [his playing partners] that I was going to have a good back nine... that I was about to do something good and it happened," Dufner said.
"When you start thinking like that, good things happen so that's just kind of where my mindset is right now. It helps when you are shooting 30s and 29s obviously, which I've done a couple of times this week.
"I'm playing good. I'm not in any trouble, I feel relaxed out there. I never feel like this has to happen or that has to happen. I'm just playing golf like you should."
His nearest challenger is still Jamie Lovemark, who shot a fine round of 65 on the Stadium Course which will host Sunday's final 18 holes.
Lovemark had seven birdies in a blemish-free round as he signed for a 65 for the third successive day, posting a 21-under total.
Canada's Adam Hadwin sits in third place on 20 under after shooting 64 at the Tournament Course.
Hadwin produced some superb golf on his front-nine, carding five birdies and an eagle in a seven-hole run from the third.
But his back-nine was not quite so memorable as he dropped a shot at the 10th before carding three straight birdies, but then bogeyed the 15th as well to drop three behind Dufner.
The best rounds of the day came from Sweden's David Lingmerth and Kevin Na of the United States, who moved into fourth and fifth place respectively.
Lingmerth (-18) had eight birdies and an eagle in a round of 62 at the Tournament Course, an effort matched by Na.
Na was only two under for the day with seven holes remaining, but that stretch saw him add six birdies and an eagle, and he is tied with fellow Americans Ryan Palmer, Andrew Loupe, John Huh and Phil Mickelson on 17 under.