Pacific Palisades, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - Retief Goosen carded a 2-under 69 on Saturday to push his lead to two strokes after three rounds of the Northern Trust Open.
Goosen finished 54 holes at 8-under-par 205. He will go for his eighth PGA Tour victory on Sunday. His last win was at the 2009 Valspar Championship.
Graham DeLaet remained alone in second place at minus-6 after a third-round 70. He is searching for his first PGA Tour title.
Sang-Moon Bae matched the low round of the day at Riviera Country Club with a 5-under 66 to soar into a share of third place at 5-under 208. He was joined there by Sergio Garcia (68), J.B. Holmes (69) and Carlos Ortiz (68).
Defending champion Bubba Watson posted a 1-under 70 and ended three rounds at minus-4. He stands alongside Jim Furyk (68), Vijay Singh (69), Angel Cabrera (71), Ryan Moore (72), James Hahn (69), last year's runner-up Dustin Johnson (67) and Jordan Spieth (70).
Goosen kicked in a birdie at the par-5 first, but was joined at minus-7 by DeLaet, who drained an 18-footer for eagle. The duo, who were in the last group together, parred the next four holes.
Both players birdied the par-3 sixth, Goosen from seven feet out and DeLaet from six feet away. DeLaet then stumbled to bogeys at seven and eight.
Goosen poured in a 34-footer for birdie at the eighth to push his lead to three strokes.
The back nine was more volatile. Goosen chipped his second at the short par-4 10th to 32 feet. However, his birdie putt rolled off the side of the green and he was 48 feet away for his fourth. Goosen's par putt hit the pin, but stayed out.
Goosen tapped in for bogey and his lead was down to two. He 2-putted for birdie on the par-5 11th to get that stroke back. That was Goosen's first 2- putt of the round.
DeLaet got up and down for birdie from a greenside bunker at 11 to stay two back. Goosen missed a 4-foot par putt at 12, but remained two ahead as DeLaet failed to save par from a greenside bunker.
Goosen pushed his drive at the 13th and that led to another bogey. DeLaet found more sand at 14 and that led to his second bogey of the back nine. Goosen landed in a fairway bunker at 15 and he came up well short with his second.
The South African chipped to 45 feet and 2-putted for bogey, which dropped him to minus-6. He was one clear of four players at that point.
Like the par-3 sixth, the final group all made birdie at the par-3 16th. Goosen missed the green, but chipped in for his birdie. DeLaet ran home a 21- footer for birdie and Moore, whose tee shot hit the flagstick, converted his birdie try from the fringe.
Goosen made it two in a row, as he 2-putted for birdie on the par-5 17th from 48 feet out. He parred the last to end two clear.
"I struggled on the back nine with my swing a little bit. On 17, I tried a little something different off the tee box, and hit a good drive, so I'll take that into the round tomorrow," Goosen said. "Yeah, 16 was a bonus. In a way, it was lucky it didn't end up any closer to the lip or bounce into the bunker. I felt like I could get it close, but it was a bonus that it went in.
"I missed a lot of greens on the front nine, but that is this course this week. You can land on a lot of greens and it just rolls off. The back nine was a struggle, but 13 and 15 were important putts."
DeLaet parred 17 and 18 to finish at minus-6.
NOTES: Goosen needed just 23 putts in his third round, as he 1-putted 13 greens ... Goosen is playing his 104th event since his last win ... The two- time U.S. Open champion has won four of the previous nine events in which he has led after 54 holes ... Goosen is trying to join Brandt Snedeker as the only two 36-hole leaders to win this season on the PGA Tour ... Bae had the only bogey-free round of the day and just the second of the week ... Alex Prugh, who finished his second round earlier Saturday with a 3-putt bogey, carded a 1-under 70 in the third round and is tied for 26th at even-par 213.