- The Washington Times - Saturday, March 14, 2009

RIO GRANDE, PUERTO RICO (AP) - Michael Bradley shot a 4-under 68 in windy conditions Saturday for a share of the third-round lead with Australian Jason Day in the PGA Tour’s Puerto Rico Open.

Bradley, whose last top-10 finish came at the 2000 Michelob Championship at Kingsmill, 64 tournaments ago, matched Day (70) at 12-under 204 _ four shots clear on the tropical, 7,526-yard Trump International course.

“Frankly, you’re aiming 30, 40, 50 feet left of really where you want the ball to go,” the 42-year-old Bradley said. “You’ve got to hit it on that line and just trust that the wind’s going to take it.

“It’s been a while since I’ve been in this position, especially on a Sunday. So (there are) a lot of emotions that I have to handle, plus the conditions of the golf course, and the wind and whatnot.”

The 21-year-old Day hit into the water off the tee on the par-4 17th, but rallied to save par with a 12-foot putt.

“The 17th was a poor decision off the tee,” Day said. “I should have taken a 3-iron instead of a 3-wood, and I tried to be a little more aggressive, and instead I hit it right in the water.”

He has putted well on the windy coastal course between the Atlantic and mist-shrouded mountains.

“My putting saved me so much today,” Day said. “I hit a lot of chip shots to 10, 12 feet and holed them, so I was very happy with the speed. My putts were great, and the lines that I was reading was really good, too.

“I’ve just got to make sure tomorrow that I do the exact same as I’ve done the last three days. I don’t want to try and be too aggressive out there. I just want to play my game and take it one shot at a time, but I’ve certainly played well to be in the position I am today.”

Bradley praised the young Australian.

“If I can’t win, I would love to see him win this golf tournament,” Bradley said.

Jay Williamson (67), Brett Quigley (69), Greg Chalmers (70), Omar Uresti (70), Kent Jones (70), Cliff Kresge (72), Bart Bryant (73) and Bryce Molder (72).

Matt Jones, tied for the second-round lead with Day after matching the course record with a 64, shot a 79 to drop into a tie for 37th at 3 under. The Australian had two double bogeys, eight bogeys and three birdies.

The $3.5 million tournament is being held opposite the World Golf Championship at Doral, which has attracted the best players from around the world.

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