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Late fade doesn't cost Watson his lead

Bubba Watson waves to the crowd after saving par on No. 18 to stay one shot up in the Deutsche Bank Championship.

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Bubba Watson waves to the crowd after saving par on No. 18 to stay one shot up in the Deutsche Bank Championship.

NORTON, Mass. — For all that went wrong for Bubba Watson on the back nine Sunday, at least he still had the lead at the Deutsche Bank Championship.

Right when he was starting to pull away in the third round at the TPC Boston, Watson lost control off the tee and made three bogeys in a five-hole stretch, then failed to get up-and-down for birdie from just behind the par-5 18th green. He still managed to shoot 1-under 70 to take a one-shot lead into the final round of the second FedEx Cup playoff event.

"It's always nice to be in the final group because then you know what everybody is doing," said Watson, one of golf's quickest players. "Every week, that's what we try to do, is get in the final group because that means you have a great chance."

Even so, today's Labor Day finish figures to be wide open.

Adam Scott (71) and Jason Day (67) were among five players in a tie for second. Luke Donald, the No. 1 player in the world, and Jim Furyk were in the large group just two shots behind.

Phil Mickelson even has a chance. He holed out a 7-iron from the rough on the 12th hole for eagle on his way to 63, and he wound up among two dozen players separated by four shots with 18 holes remaining.

"It's not even that there's so many guys," Brendan Steele said. "It's who the guys are, too. There's a lot of talent there. Somebody is going to have to definitely go and take this tournament. It's not going to be given to them."

The chaos is nothing new for the TPC Boston. Six years ago, there was a five-way tie for the lead going into the final round in the Deutsche Bank Championship.

Watson moved to 13 under after a short birdie on the 10th to build a two-shot lead. But he was wild to the left on the par-3 11th for bogey, and he had to scramble for bogey on the 12th after a poor tee shot. He reclaimed the lead with birdie on the 17th.

Watson was at 11-under 202 as he goes after his third win of the year and by far the biggest of his career.

EUROPEAN: Thomas Bjorn won back-to-back titles for the first time in his career, shooting 9-under 62 to take the European Masters in Crans-Sur-Sierre, Switzerland, by four strokes. Bjorn made nine birdies and an eagle in a blistering final round to finish at 20-under 264 to earn the $473,000 winner's prize.

Late fade doesn't cost Watson his lead 09/04/11 [Last modified: Sunday, September 4, 2011 9:12pm]
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