DORAL, Fla. — Patrick Reed turned his game around in four holes Saturday and wound up with a 3-under 69 in much tamer conditions at Doral, giving him a two-shot lead at the Cadillac Championship going into a final round that will prominently feature Tiger Woods for the first time this year.
Reed rolled in a 40-foot eagle putt on No. 8, and started the back nine with consecutive birdies. He drove the green on the par-4 16th for a two-putt birdie and wound up with a two-shot lead over PGA champion Jason Dufner (68) and Hunter Mahan, who bogeyed his last hole for a 71.
Woods delivered the low round of the tournament and his best round of the year.
He made three birdie putts of about 15 feet or longer on the back nine, including a 35-footer down the slope on the par-5 15th, and had a 6-under 66. His goal was to get back to even par for the tournament and hope to be within five shots of the leader.
It turned out much better.
Woods was one of five players who were under par, and he goes into today only three shots behind as he tries to win at Doral for the fifth time. Jamie Donaldson of Wales escaped from the palm trees right of the 18th and made par for a 71 to share fourth place with Woods.
“It was nice to get back in the tournament again,” Woods said.
Reed will be going for his third win in his last 14 starts dating to the Wyndham Championship in August. He was at 4-under 212, the highest score to lead after 54 holes at Doral since a three-way tie at 212 in 1985.
Asked what it would be like to see Woods in a red shirt ahead of him today, Reed didn’t seem bothered.
“That’s fine. I’ve seen Tiger a lot on the driving range. Never had the opportunity to play with him and I still haven’t been able to play with him,” he said. “Whenever he’s close to the lead, he’s a guy you have to watch out for. But at the same time, I have to go and just play my own game.”