Determined Donaldson remains in contention
March 08, 2014
- Jamie Donaldson shot 71 in the first round. (Stan Badz/PGA TOUR)
DORAL, Florida -- Jamie Donaldson trails pacesetter Patrick Reed by three shots heading into the final round of the WGC –Cadillac Championship, with Tiger Woods also lurking after the Official World Golf Ranking No. 1 tamed the Blue Monster.
Welshman Donaldson heads the European challenge at Trump National Doral in Miami following a one under par third round of 71 which moved him to one under par for the tournament.
The Ryder Cup hopeful shares fourth place with Woods, who mounted a charge through the field, posting eight birdies in a round of 66.
Having started his title defense with an opening round of 76, Woods is now just three shots behind leader Reed, who carded a 3-under 69 to open up a one stroke cushion over fellow Americans Jason Dufner (68) and Hunter Mahan (71).
Having won twice on The European Tour, Donaldson is now looking to claim his first victory in a World Golf Championships event, and he feels improving his fortunes on the greens will be key during the final round.
“I just need to hole more putts,” he said. “I played pretty good today. I played more solid than the previous couple of days, especially yesterday. I just need to make a few more putts.
“I'm in a good position. I just need to go out tomorrow and shoot as low as I can.”
Spaniard Miguel Angel Jiménez, the oldest player in the field at 50, also moved into contention on level par with a round of 69, and he is looking forward to trying to pass Reed.
He said: “Winning or not winning, what I will try to do is still enjoy myself. That's the main thing. That is the only way you can catch someone.”
Northern Ireland’s Graeme McDowell struggled to regain his rhythm following the windy conditions on Friday as he posted a 73. At one over par, McDowell is five shots back, but he still believes he has a chance of victory.
“I haven't blown myself out of the tournament, which is a good thing,” said the 2010 U.S. Open Champion. “I'm still well within touch for tomorrow. I didn't play very well today. My rhythm was a bit out, whether that was something to do with the winds yesterday or what. I didn't have a very good warm up this morning. I was a bit out of rhythm out there.”
Rory McIlroy, who like his compatriot McDowell and Donaldson started the day one shot off the lead, twice found the water as he made double bogeys on the eighth and tenth holes. However, the two time major champion chipped in on the last to sign for a 75 and will start the final round seven shots back in a share of 19th position.
“It was a tough day,” said McIlroy. “I didn't play the par fives well at all. I played those in four over. So when you do that around here, you're sort of putting yourself behind the eight‑ball a little bit.
“I shot 65 here in the last round here last year to get myself in the top ten. I need something like that tomorrow to have a chance to win, but to get into the top ten, I wouldn't need something that low.”