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Long shots move to top at Northern Trust Open

Heavyweights chasing long shots at RIVThird Round – PGA Tour – Northern Trust Open – Riviera Country Club – Pacific Palisades, California –

William McGirt emerged Saturday on moving day to take the 54-hold lead at the PGA Tour’s Northern Trust Open at Riviera Country Club.

McGirt shot 6-under-65 to post 12-under overall. He will nurse a two-shot lead over past PGA Tour champions George McNeill and Charlie Beljan. Jason Allred and Brian Harman are T-4 at 9-under.

Bubba Watson’s 7-under-64 had the round of the day. He jumped to T-6 at 8-under overall. Watson was the 54-hole leader in Phoenix three weeks ago before finishing runner-up.

McGirt, who finished 97th on the tour’s Money List last season, has been in contention a few times on tour in his career. He finished runner-up the last two seasons at the RBC Canadian Open. He was a better-than 100-to-1 long shot to win this tournament at Ladbrokes.com to start the week.

Sang-Moon Bae, the overnight leader, shot 1-over-72.

Base is part of a large group sitting at T-6 at 8-under and four back. Someone from that 8-under tally might emerge with victory Sunday with heavyweights lining up at that number including FedEx Cup leader Jimmy Walker, 13th-ranked Jordan Spieth, Dustin Johnson and Charl Schwartzel.

With longer-shots at the top of the leader board, the opportunity for one of those players to win is favorable. Walker has three wins this season and Johnson also has a triumph. Spieth has been in contention to win and Schwartzel won on the European Tour earlier this season.

Other Golf News:

  • Suzann Pettersen trails the lead at the LPGA Tour’s ISPS Handa Australian Women’s Open by three shots through 54 holes. With a victory or solo second, she will surpass Inbee Park into the No.1 Rolex Ranking slot.
  • Kirk Triplett fired a 67 to tie Bernhard Langer for the lead at 10-under overall at the Champions Tour ACE Group Classic in Naples, Florida. Colin Montgomerie is 7-under and three back. Langer led the tour’s Money List a year ago making 24 of 24 cuts.
  • Allred was a Monday Qualifier at Riviera and now has a shot at winning the title and earning a two-year PGA Tour exemption and an invitation to the Masters at Augusta National in April.
  • Langer was 2nd in the All-Around Ranking last year on the Champions Tour and 3rd in Greens In Regulation Percentage.
  • Chella Choi, the overnight leader in Australia, made 26 of 28 cuts last year on the LPGA Tour finishing 17th on the Money List.