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Goosen Leads Singh Lurks

PALM HARBOR, Fla. -- Retief Goosen carded a 4-under 67 Saturday to extend his lead at the Chrysler Championship. Goosen finished with a 54-hole total of 11-under-par 202 and a two-shot lead over Briny Baird.
Vijay Singh finished three shots off the pace at 8-under-par 205 and in position to wrap up the money title. A strong showing this week will make Tiger Woods' hopes of catching the Fijian slim, but a victory would assure Singh the money title.
'If I do, I do; if I don't, I don't. I still got a chance next week,' said Singh. 'He still has to beat me next week to pass me.'
The 40-year-old was five shots off the pace to start the third round and jumped out of the gate with a birdie at the very first hole. Singh added back-to-back birdies from the eighth to make the turn at 5 under before collecting four birdies and a bogey on the back side to move into contention.
'I intended to play well today and tried to get as close to Retief as possible,' said Singh, who fired a 65 in the third round. 'He is playing very well as well. I know I played with him last week and he was hitting the ball pretty good.'
Goosen, who is quietly securing his spot in next week's Tour Championship, had a brilliant front nine as he tried to distance himself from his challengers.
Goosen birdied two of the first three holes and picked up two straight birdies starting at the par-4 seventh to move to 11 under.
The 34-year-old added a birdie at the par-5 11th before finding trouble with a bogey at the par-3 13th.
Goosen's lead shrunk even more after he bogeyed the 17th but the 2001 U.S. Open champion persisted.
He closed his round with a six-foot birdie at the last on the Copperhead Course at Westin Innisbrook Resort to carry a two-shot edge over Baird into the final round.
'Vijay is trying to win it tomorrow to finish off the money title. I'm trying to win it to get into Mercedes for next year,' said Goosen. 'Someone of us is going to be unhappy tomorrow. It's going to be a tough day. Vijay I know is playing well. The whole year he has been playing really well. He is probably the man to try to beat tomorrow.
'Tomorrow you got to focus on your own game. You know, just play hole by hole and see what happens. If I shoot another good round tomorrow I'm sure I'll walk away with it.'
Baird tallied a birdie at the fourth and picked up the first of four consecutive birdies at the par-4 seventh to catch fire around the turn.
The 31-year-old moved to 10 under with a birdie at the 14th but a dropped shot at the 15th dropped him back to minus-9.
Baird is currently 35th on the money list but with an excellent chance to work himself into the top 30.
'I don't think that's going to come in to play that much tomorrow. Winning the tournament will come in to play,' said Baird, who shot a 66 on Saturday. 'Having a chance to win a golf tournament with 18 holes to go is a pretty good feat.'
Tim Petrovic shot a 66 to finish four shots off the lead alone in fourth place at 7-under-par 206. Loren Roberts and Jose Coceres were two shots further back at 5-under-par 208.
Chad Campbell, Jeff Sluman, J.J. Henry and Thomas Levet share seventh place at 4-under-par 209. Levet is currently outside the top 125 on the money list and needs a strong finish on Sunday to keep his playing privileges for next year.
Related Links:
  • Leaderboard - Chrysler Championship
  • Full Coverage - Chrysler Championship