McGirt Up by Two at Riviera

William McGirt posted a sterling 6-under 65 to take the 54-hole lead in the Northern Trust Open. The $6.7 million PGA Tour event is being held at historic Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, Calif.

The 34-year-old McGirt, a South Carolina native in search of his first Tour title, went out with five birdies and a bogey on the front nine to make the turn at 4-under 31. He came home with three more birdies and a bogey for a 34.

McGirt stands at 12-under 201, a couple of shots ahead of George McNeill (66) and Charlie Beljan (68).

"I'll take 65 any day, especially around this place," McGirt said at greenside. "(Sunday's final round) is just another day. At the end of the day there's a 13-month old (child) at home that probably won't care if I shoot 65 again or 57 . . . hopefully I'll play solid."

Three back are Jason Allred, who followed up his 64 Friday with a 67, and Brian Harman (68). Allred got into the tournament after shooting a 6-under 65 in Monday qualifying. Through three rounds, the 33-year-old former Pepperdine player has carded 16 birdies and seven bogeys.

"Mondays aren't always glamorous," Allred said at greenside, "but a lot of guys have to do it."

Four strokes behind McGirt are Bubba Watson - who matched Allred's 64 for the low round of the tournament, Cameron Tringale (67), Jimmy Walker (67), Jordan Spieth (67), Charl Schwartzel (68), Dustin Johnson (69) and Sang-Moon Bae.

Bae, who opened with rounds of 67 and 66 to become the halfway leader, carded a 72 to drop into the large group chasing McGirt.

Aaron Baddeley and Robert Garrigus began the third round only a stroke behind Bae, but they carded 72 and 73, respectively to drop down the leadeboard.

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