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Last updated: February 19. 2013 8:09PM - 86 Views

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THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. — Based on history alone, the most comfortable part of Graeme McDowell's position is being at Sherwood Country Club.


Ever since he first showed up at the World Challenge in 2009 as a last-minute replacement for tournament host Tiger Woods, McDowell has broken par in every round he has played. Saturday was no exception. He rolled in two long birdie putts early in the third round and stretched his streak to 29 holes without a bogey when he walked off the 18th green with a 4-under 68.


As for his two-shot lead? That's not always his best spot from which to win.


McDowell's last three wins started with at least a three-shot deficit. He has never won when he had the outright lead, although he started out tied for the lead four times.


I'm not sure how many times I've won from the front, McDowell said. Hopefully, I'll add one tomorrow.


All he knows is that it doesn't figure to be easy to pick up his first win in two years.


Keegan Bradley had to cope with more fallout on the proposed ban of the belly putting stroke when he said one man in the gallery called him a cheater. It didn't keep the former PGA champion from a 5-under 67 to get into the final pairing with McDowell on Sunday.


Woods, a five-time champion at Sherwood, kept himself in the game. Even though Woods failed to birdie any of the five par 5s, he picked up a pair of birdies on the final two par 3s and added a third to salvage a 69 that left him five shots behind.


I'm going to have to shoot a low one tomorrow and see what happens, Woods said.


McDowell was at 13-under 203, and will try to win from the front for the first time since he was tied for the 54-hole lead at the Scottish Open at Loch Lomond in 2008. His specialty of late has been rallying on the last day — four shots behind at the World Challenge, three shots behind at the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach, four shots behind at the Wales Open, all of those in 2010.


On another overcast day with a light drizzle, McDowell picked up a pair of birdies he wasn't expecting.


He laid up on the par-5 second hole and hit his wedge with two much spin, the ball rolling back down a pair of tiers that left him some 40 feet away. He rolled that in for a birdie, and then holed about a 25-foot birdie putt on No. 4. McDowell's best swing of the day came at the ninth, with the pin at the far back of the green. He hit a 6-iron to about 6 feet for birdie, and picked up his fourth birdie with a two-putt on the 11th, the one par 5 he can reach in two.



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