Date: June 17, 2007

Badds takes charge

A gutsy round of 70 from Australian Aaron Baddeley has him two strokes clear of a star-studded field after the penultimate round of the US Open. With 18 holes to play the Australian leads World No. 1 Tiger Woods (69) by a couple of strokes. The Oakmont course has proved as tough as predicted with Baddeley&aposs +2 the benchmark. Fellow Australian Stuart Appleby stayed in touch with a 71 that secured him a share of 10th place while countryman Nick O&aposHern (71) is nine shots off the pace. Defending champion Geoff Ogilvy gave up any chance he had of retaining the title on moving day when he fired a wayward 78 to be at +14 after 54 holes. Twelve months after Ogilvy made headlines with his stunning victory at this event, compatriot Baddeley can etch his name into history with a maiden major triumph. All his hard work looked to be unravelling late on moving day, however, when the course he had tamed for the majority of the day bit back. Baddeley endured back-to-back bogeys on the 15th and 16th after a sizzling stretch that secured him a three-stroke lead over Woods. But the 26-year-old fought back in what could turn out to be a watershed round in a career that for so long has promised so much. Faced with a difficult lie just above a left fairway bunker on the 17th Baddeley punched his ball toward the green and managed to save par. At the final hole he sunk a vital birdie putt from eight feet to regain momentum and confidence ahead of his Sunday showdown with Woods. The pair will play the final round together. Results from round three of the US Open, Pennsylvania: +2: Aaron Baddeley (Australia) 72 70 70 +4: Tiger Woods 71 74 69 +5: Paul Casey 77 66 72, Stephen Ames 73 69 73, Justin Rose 71 71 73, Bubba Watson 70 71 74 +6: Steve Stricker 75 73 68, Jim Furyk 71 75 70, Angel Cabrera 69 71 76 Also: +7: Stuart Appleby (Australia) 74 72 71 +11: Nick O&aposHern (Australia) 76 74 71 +14: Matthew Goggin (Australia) 77 73 74, Geoff Ogilvy (Australia) 71 75 78 +17: Marcus Fraser (Australia) 72 78 77