Sabbatini moves five clear
South African defies windy conditions to produce another fine round
Last Updated: March 6, 2011 4:50pm
Sabbatini: five shots clear
Rory Sabbatini holds a five-shot lead heading into the final round of the Honda Classic in Florida.
The South African, who is seeking his first victory in almost two years, shot a 66 in Saturday's third round at a windswept Palm Beach to move to nine under overall.
Sabbatini has gone from strength-to-strength since firing a 71 on the opening day, with his two subsequent rounds bringing 12 birdies and just the one bogey. He leapt into contention on Friday after shooting a course-record 64.
"You can't be complacent out there because if you lose focus for a second, it can take shots away in a hurry," Sabbatini said afterwards.
"I've seen it with my playing partners over the past couple of days.
"I just have to remain focused on what I've been doing, just trying to keep the ball on the fairway, trying to put it on the green in regulation and just trying to let the putter do the work."
Jerry Kelly and 2009 champion Y.E. Yang are tied for second place at four under, while Gary Woodland is one shot further back and overnight leader Kyle Stanley stands alone in fifth place on two under.
Charles Howell III, Matt Bettencourt, Tommy Gainey and Ricky Barnes are the only other players under par after three punishing days during which winds have gusted at speeds between 20 and 30mph.
Meanwhile, Lee Westwood's hopes of once more claiming the number one spot in the world rankings at the expense of Martin Kaymer took a nosedive.
The Englishman put together a miserable five-over round of 75 and fell to four over for the week - eight shots adrift of the top-three finish he needs to reclaim the top spot.
Westwood was another who failed to get to grips with the blustery weather, with a total of seven bogeys all but ending his hopes.
Ernie Els, champion in 2008, also had his issues with the conditions, starting and finishing an eight-over-par score of 78 with bogeys. The South African has managed just six birdies - five coming on Friday - through three rounds.