Baddeley takes lead

Oakmont, June 17:

Aaron Baddeley grabbed a two-stroke lead in the third round of the US Open on Saturday, but must defy Tiger Woods if he wants to record a second straight win for an Australian.

The two will comprise the final pairing when the world No 1 goes for his third US Open win and the 13th major of his career.

Four players are on five over, three strokes behind Baddeley and one back off Woods. They are English pair Justin Rose and Paul Casey, Canada’s Stephen Ames and Bubba Watson of the US. Baddeley’s battling display saw him finish at 70 with a thrilling birdie at the last.

Woods, who carded his first sub-par round of 69, was left pondering what might have been after a scintillating display of ball-striking from tee to green was squandered by his putting. Woods hit an amazing 17 greens out of 17 in regulation but putt after putt either slid past or came to rest a roll or two from the target.