Los Angeles: Two-time US Open champion Retief Goosen fired a two-under par 69 on Saturday to stretch his lead to two strokes going into the final round of the Northern Trust Open.
With the classic Riviera Country Club course showing it`s teeth, Goosen survived some shaky moments, closing with two birdies in his last three holes for a 54-hole total of eight-under par 205 and a two-stroke lead over Canadian Graham DeLaet.
DeLaet, who started the day tied for second one stroke adrift, carded a one-under par 70 for 207.
On a crowded leaderboard, South Korea`s Bae Sang-Moon headed a group on 208 after an impressive bogey-free five-under par 66.
He was joined at five-under by Spain`s Sergio Garcia, who carded an adventurous 68, 23-year-old Mexican Carlos Ortiz (68) and American J.B. Holmes (69).
Eight players shared seventh on four-under 209, including former world number one Vijay Singh, who will celebrate his 52nd birthday on Sunday.
Other former major winners joining Singh on four-under were reigning Masters champion and defending Northern Trust Open champ Bubba Watson, Argentina`s Angel Cabrera and American Jim Furyk.
Americans Jordan Spieth, Dustin Johnson, James Hahn and Ryan Moore were also on 209.
Goosen is more than a decade removed from his second US Open triumph in 2004, and hasn`t won a US PGA Tour event since 2009.
The 46-year-old, who had back surgery in 2012, admitted on Friday he wasn`t sure how his game would hold up, but he played well overall.
Goosen stretched his lead to three strokes when he rolled in a 35-foot putt at the eighth for his third birdie of the day.
But that lead dwindled as he struggled like most in the field with the firm, fast conditions on his inward run.
Although he rebounded from a bogey at 10 with a birdie at 11, Goosen bogeyed 12 and 13 before his first par on the back nine.
After another bogey at 15, he righted the ship, chipping in for a birdie from 35 feet at the par-three 16th, and picking up another stroke at the par-five 17th.
DeLaet, seeking his first US PGA Tour victory, opened with an eagle and added three birdies, but four bogeys ensured he never got his nose in front of Goosen.
Bae is seeking his second win of the current campaign after his win in the 2014-15 season-opening Frys.com Open in October.He opened with back-to-back birdies and nabbed another brace of birdies at six and seven. He made just one more birdie, at the 10th.
"A little bit higher confidence level today because putting feels a little better than the first round," Bae said.
"Also, iron shots were better than the first round, so that makes a good score."
Garcia`s round included an astonishing par at the 13th, where his errant tee shot found a bunker behind the 10th green.
He used a three-iron to blast out between a tree and a television tower, eventually making a 15-foot par-saving putt.
"I would have been happy with five, so four was a bonus," Garcia said.