Date: March 15, 2009

Day tied at the top

Rising Australian star Jason Day and 42-year-old American Michael Bradley moved clear of the field in the third round of the Puerto Rico Open in Rio Grande. The chasing pack is four behind after 21-year-old Day carded a two-under-par 70 and Bradley, playing his first event of the season after losing his card and failing to get it back at the qualifying school, a fine 68 in difficult conditions at the Trump International. Eight players share third place on eight-under – Americans Cliff Kresge, Bryce Molder, Jay Williamson, Brett Quigley, Omar Uresti, Kent Jones and Bart Bryant, plus Australian left-hander Greg Chalmers. Bradley, who had the second of the PGA Tour victories 11 years ago, birdied four of the first six holes to turn in 32 and after a bogey on the 12th collected his fifth birdie of the round at the 17th. Former Australian and world junior champion Day had three birdies himself on the front nine and his only dropped shot came at the 14th. Day had shared the halfway lead with compatriot Matt Jones, but the 28-year-old from Sydney had a nightmare run after grabbing an eagle on the long fifth. Jones double-bogeyed the next, bogeyed five of the following six holes, had another double bogey on the 13th and let another stroke go at the next. That was 10-over-par for nine holes, but he did at least pick up two birdies on the closing stretch for a 79 that dropped him to 37th. England&aposs Greg Owen, 12th overnight, managed only a 77 to slump to joint 58th on one under, while German Alex Cejka signed for a 74 that sent him down from eighth to 17th on five under. American Ryder Cup captain Corey Pavin is on the same mark following a 73 and Rocco Mediate, beaten by Tiger Woods in a playoff for the US Open last June and still seeking his first top 10 finish since then, struggled to a 75 that left him alongside Jones and 18-year-old Hawaiian Tadd Fujikawa. Meanwhile, Phil Mickelson and Nick Watney are set for another duel at Doral after a day of thrust and parry between the Americans at the WGC-CA Championship. World number three Mickelson carded a third-round 69 on the Blue Monster course to move to 16-under-par after seeing his two-shot halfway lead eroded by a 67 from Watney as the pair vied for the lead all day in the final group. Four shots back on the leaders in a tie for third are Jeev Milka Singh of India and Colombia&aposs Camilo Villegas, with Denmark&aposs Soren Kjeldsen and Spain&aposs Alvaro Quiros joining Americans Jim Furyk, Charley Hoffman and Perry on 11-under. World No.1 Tiger Woods shot a 68 to move to seven-under, nine off the lead, while Rod Pampling is the best of the Australians at 10-under and in a share of 10th place. Fellow Australian Aaron Baddeley was disqualified midway through his round after realising he had committed an infringement in the second round and therefore signed an incorrect scorecard. Having driven into the edge of a water hazard on the third hole yesterday, Baddeley kicked a stone out of the way as he took his stance. Finding a near-identical spot today, Baddeley asked a nearby rules official if he could do the same thing again only to be told it was against the rules. “When he said that, I was like &aposOoh, I think I did that yesterday,” Baddeley admitted. “I spoke to (referee) Mike Shea and told him what happened and he said, unfortunately, that will be a disqualification. And I sort of knew that.”