Woods' replacement McDowell tied for lead

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By John Reger

THOUSAND OAKS, California (Reuters) - Briton Graeme McDowell moved into a share of the lead at the Chevron World Challenge on Saturday after being named as a late replacement in the field due the absence of world number one Tiger Woods.

Woods withdrew from the event, which he hosts, citing undisclosed injuries following a car crash last week.

McDowell shot a third-round six-under 66 and is tied with South Korea's Y.E Yang at 10-under par 206. Ireland's Padraig Harrington and Britain's Lee Westwood are one stroke behind.

McDowell was playing in the World Cup in China last week when he was met by his manager, who told him that he might be taking Woods' place at the event.

"It just so happened I was on my way to Orlando anyway via LA, so it wasn't out of my way in any shape or form," McDowell said. "Obviously it's a huge blow for the golf tournament not to have Tiger here.

"I feel very fortunate to receive the invite. It was a wonderful opportunity for me."


McDowell took advantage of the back nine, making four birdies and an eagle from holes 10 to 15. His eagle putt on 15 was a curling 60-footer that dropped into the hole.

"I went out with a low round in mind," McDowell said. "I hadn't been tearing up the front at all, but I played nice and solidly today and made the turn one under."

His only mistake of the round was a big one, making double bogey on the 563-yard par-five 16th hole. McDowell's tee shot found a fairway hazard and his next shot went into a water hazard.

"The mistake on 16 kind of hurt me," McDowell said. ""It was a bit of a 50/50 lie in the trap and hit about a foot behind it (his ball) and ended up in the hazard.

"These traps are a bit of a penalty this week. They are not like the crispy, perfect lies we are used to. In a way that's the way bunkers are supposed to be."

Yang had been the second-round leader by two strokes, but is still suffering from flu-like symptoms and shot a one-under-par 71 as he struggled throughout his round.

"I felt good after first hole when I made a birdie," Yang said through an interpreter.

"I'm not 100 percent condition right now. But overall I feel good about being on top of the leaderboard."

Harrington, who has won the event in 2002, was disappointed that he was a stroke behind the leaders after he finished with two-under 70 on Saturday.

"I think if there's anything to be disappointed about is while I have a great chance to win a tournament, I could have done a lot of work over the last couple of days to make it different for a number of people," Harrington said.

"It wouldn't have taken very much to be 13, 14 under par."

(Editing by Greg Stutchbury)