Singh, Hart share lead at Pebble Beach

Vijay Singh carded a five-under-par 67 to move into a share of the lead after three rounds of the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.

Vijay Singh carded a five-under-par 67 to move into a share of the lead after three rounds of the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.

The Fijian joined Dudley Hart at the top of the leaderboard on nine-under-par in the event with four birdies and a bogey to go along with an eagle at the par five 11th at Spyglass Hills.

Singh matched Jim Furyk, Nick Watney and Bo Van Pelt for the lowest round of the day.

“I’ve hit the ball very well from tee to green,” Singh said. “I think I missed two greens today, and the other two days I did the same. So my ball-striking is pretty good at the moment.

“Probably that’s why I’m scoring well.”

Singh and Hart hold a two-shot lead over Dustin Johnson and Michael Allen, who are at seven under.

The 44-year-old Singh, who has 31 career PGA Tour victories, is seeking his first win since the Arnold Palmer Invitational in March 2007.

“I’m not going to be really worried about anybody else until probably the last few holes,” Singh said. “If I go out there and play the way I think I should and the way I feel, I should be okay. I just need to make some putts tomorrow.”

Hart used a strong finished to claim a share of the lead with Singh. He birdied three of the final four holes, including the 17th and 18th, for a bogey-free 68.

That put Hart in position for his third career victory. He has not won since the 2000 Honda Classic and has just one top-three finish since 2004.

“I just played kind of solid for three days, and I haven’t felt like I’ve hit it great, but I hit enough good shots and giving myself enough opportunities and I putted pretty well for three days,” Hart said. “So obviously that helps.”

Johnson overcame bogeys at the second and the 10th with an eagle at the par four 13th before finishing his round with a birdie at the 18th hole. Allen, who started the day one shot off the lead, signed for a one-under-par 71.

Defending champion Phil Mickelson, a three-time winner of this event, was struggling to stay in contention before he unravelled with an 11 on the par five 14th and skied to a 78, falling 14 shots and missing the cut.

Feeling he needed to birdie the hole, Mickelson said he “went after a drive” and landed in the rough. He tried to lay up with a hybrid club only to send two shots out of bounds.

“I was at two under and the leaders were around eight, and I felt like if I could make three or four coming in I’d have a chance to win,” Mickelson said. “And I ended up pulling two of them out of bounds and I made an 11. That was basically the cut.”

A cluster of six players are three shots back at six under, including Steve Lowery, who had one of the more bizarre rounds of the day.

After opening with seven straight pars, Lowery had a bogey, two double-bogeys and seven birdies in his final 11 holes to finish with a 70.

Tim Herron, the overnight leader, stumbled on the back nine and is in a pack of eight players at five under.

Reigning British Open champion Padraig Harrington started fast and finished fast but was staggered by a triple-bogey on the par five 11th. His 70 left him in a group of seven players five shots off the lead.

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