Graeme McDowell leads entering the final round of the World Challenge, a tournament hosted by Tiger Woods in Thousand Oaks, Calif.

Share story

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. — Ever since he first showed up at the World Challenge in 2009 as a last-minute replacement for tournament host Tiger Woods, Graeme McDowell has broken par in every round he has played in the event. Saturday was no exception.

McDowell, who is from Northern Ireland, rolled in two long birdie putts early in the third round at Sherwood Country Club and stretched his streak to 29 holes without a bogey when he walked off the 18th green with a 4-under-par 68.

McDowell was at 13-under 203, two strokes ahead of second-place Keegan Bradley (67) in the 18-player event. Woods (69), a five-time champion at Sherwood, was five shots off the lead in an event that raises money for his foundation.

When the tournament lost its title sponsor — Chevron — last year and a deal with a major company unexpectedly fell through at the last minute in early September, Woods reportedly spent about $4 million of his own money to join presenting sponsor Northwestern Mutual in covering the operating costs.

This week, save 90% on digital access.

“We’re going to be doing everything we can to keep the tournament going and keep all our programs going,” said Woods, a 14-time major champion.

Woods described the World Challenge as his “showcase event” he created with his late father, Earl.

Including prize money donated by the host, the World Challenge has raised about $25 million for the Tiger Woods Foundation.

“This is what started it all for us,” he said. “If we didn’t have this event, we wouldn’t have the learning center here in Orange County. It brought awareness to what we’re trying to do for kids. … It’s important to me to help these people and give these kids a chance.”

Bradley, last year’s PGA Championship winner, had to cope with more fallout on the proposed ban of the belly putting stroke he uses. Bradley said a man in the gallery called him a “cheater.”

The ban would not take effect before 2016, but some fans are passionate against players who anchor the putter to their bodies.

Last week, Bradley told of getting a tweet that advised him to apply for a job at Burger King in 2016.

“There’s always going to be people who are negative,” he said.

Kaymer leads

SUN CITY, South Africa — German Martin Kaymer holed a tricky 10-foot par putt on the final hole for a 2-under 70 and a one-stroke lead in the Nedbank Golf Challenge at Gary Player Country Club.

Kaymer was at 5 under after 54 holes in the 12-man event.

South Africa’s Louis Oosthuizen was second after a 69, and countryman Charl Schwartzel (70) was another stroke back. England’s Lee Westwood (70), the two-time defending champion, and American Bill Haas (71) were at 2 under.

Meanwhile, German Bernhard Langer won the Nedbank Champions Challenge seniors event, shooting a 74 to finish at 7-under 209.

Custom-curated news highlights, delivered weekday mornings.