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Cantlay holds two-stroke lead

Patrick Cantlay remains in charge heading into the final round of the Genesis Invitational. | HARRY HOW/AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

LOS ANGELES (AFP) — Patrick Cantlay faltered late on the way to a one-under-par 70 on Saturday that saw his lead cut to two strokes heading into the final round of the Genesis Invitational at The Riviera Country Club.

World No. 7 Cantlay, seeking a ninth US PGA Tour title and his first since 2022, started the day with a five-shot lead.

He was four up with five to play, but after a bogey at the par-five 17th he finished with a 54-hole total of 199 — just two clear of his good friend Xander Schauffele and Will Zalatoris.

Schauffele and Zalatoris both carded six-under-par 65s and were a stroke in front of American Luke List, who signed for a 68.

With tournament host Tiger Woods sidelined by flu — which saw him withdraw from his first official tour event in more than 10 months midway through Friday’s second round — the final pairing of friends and frequent match play partners Cantlay and Schauffele will be in the spotlight on Sunday.

“I played solid golf today,” Cantlay said. “I didn’t make any long putts or anything, didn’t really give myself too many chances, but all in all a solid day and in good position for tomorrow.”

Cantlay’s day got off to a promising start with an eight-foot birdie putt at the par-five first. He bogeyed the third, but birdies at the 11th and 13th had his lead at four strokes before he found a fairway bunker off the tee at 17.

His third shot was short of the green, a poor chip left him 14 feet and he two-putted for a bogey on the second-easiest hole on the course.

Meanwhile the Schauffele, the world No. 5 who is chasing an eighth tour win, launched his second straight bogey-free round with a 13-foot eagle at the par-five first.

He added back-to-back birdies at the 10th and 11th and another pair of birdies at 16 and 17, then got up and down for par from off the green at 18.

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