Reed grabs PGA lead but Noh, Leishman give chase

Washington: Patrick Reed, seeking his fourth title in 10 months, fired a par 71 Saturday to seize a two-stroke lead after the third round of the $6.5 million PGA National.

The 23-year-old American, who notably proclaimed himself one of the top five players in the world after winning at Doral in March, stood on six-under 207 after 54 holes at Congressional Country Club.

South Korean Noh Seung-Yul, Australian Marc Leishman and Sweden`s Freddie Jacobson shared second on 209 with England`s Justin Rose, Zimbabwe`s Brendon de Jonge and Americans Ben Martin, Richard Lee, Hudson Swafford and Shawn Stefani sharing fifth on 210.

Reed converted his three prior 54-hole leads into PGA titles, winning his first last August at Greensboro followed by the Humana Challenge last January and the World Golf Championship event at Doral last March.

After dubbing himself a world top-five player, 29th-ranked Reed has missed five cuts in eight events with a best finish of 35th at the US Open, but he has a chance to win again Sunday.

"I`m in a great position," Reed said. "Anytime you are in the lead going into Sunday you feel pretty well."

Reed birdied the fourth and fifth holes, took bogeys at seven and eight and the par-3 13th but put his approach to two feet to set up a birdie at the par-5 16th to stretch his edge.

"The back nine played very tough," Reed said. "The greens got firm and hard."

Jacobson, 39, won his first pro title at the 2002 Hong Kong Open and added two more European Tour titles in 2003 at the Portugal Open and Andalucia Masters, but his only title in 11 US PGA seasons came at the 2011 Travelers Championship.

The Swede sizzled on the front nine, sinking three birdie putts from beyond 25 feet.

"I played awesome on the front nine, put myself in position," Jacobson said.

But Jacobson dropped his tee shot in the water at the par-3 10th and made bogey, followed with a double bogey at 11 to fall out of the lead and missed an 11-foot par putt to bogey 13 as well.

"I was indecisive on 10, just quit on the swing and it was wet," Jacobson said. "That tested me all the rest of the back nine but I felt like I played pretty well after that."

Noh, who began the day seven strokes off the lead, fired a 66 for the day`s low round. His six birdies included a 66-foot chip-in at nine.

"Just made putts," Noh said. "One chip-in and a lot of birdies. Firm and fast, a little tough but very good scoring.

"It`s third round so maybe top of the leaderboard tomorrow."

The 23-year-old won his first US PGA title at New Orleans in April and likes his chances over the 7,569-yard layout.

"It`s long but I like a long course," Noh said. "It`s a good advantage for me."

Rose, trying to win for the first time since his dramatic US Open triumph last June, was three-under after seven holes but took a double bogey at 11 and closed with a bogey to settle for a 71.

"I drove the ball incredibly well and gave myself an opportunity to keep playing well," Rose said. "I need to go and play a great round tomorrow."

Sweden`s Peter Hanson aced the 222-yard, par-3 second hole with a 4-iron, his first career hole-in-one.

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