May 27, 2006

Jimenez charges but Howell still leads

By Norman Dabell

VIRGINIA WATER (Reuters) - Britain's David Howell
maintained his three-shot lead in the PGA Championship after
Saturday's third round.

But the round of the day in more bad weather at Wentworth
drew Spain's Miguel Angel Jimenez up to second place.

Howell shot a three-under-par 69 to move to 14-under-par
202, with Jimenez carding a flawless 65.

The Spaniard made light of heavy rain which caused much of
the rest of the field problems.

Two more Britons, Paul Casey and Simon Khan, share third
place, six strokes off the lead.

Victory in Europe's flagship event will consolidate
Howell's place on top of Europe's order of merit.

The 30-year-old Englishman, injury-free after withdrawing
from last week's Irish Open with back trouble, is expecting a
shootout with Jimenez.

"Miguel obviously played fantastic today and this is far
from over," Howell said.

"But if Miguel and I play well there's a fair chance it
will be between the two of us because there's quite a gap
before third place.

"My back is good now and I feel I could still go on and hit
30 or 40 more shots. It wasn't like that on Thursday."

Jimenez set up the chance of his 14th and most prestigious
title with a chip reminiscent of his 1998 "European Tour Shot
of the Year" to draw closer to Howell.

Eight years ago his shot at the last at St Nom la Breteche
to win the Lancome Trophy earned him the accolade and his chip
on Wentworth's 18th from soaking rough over a bunker to three
inches produced his seventh birdie on a flawless card.

Overnight second-placed Nick Dougherty of Britain slipped
down the leaderboard to fifth place, eight strokes off the
pace, after hitting his ball unplayable on the 17th and
returning a 74.

Holder Angel Cabrera of Argentina slid to 10 strokes off
the lead after a round of 75 that included a penalty shot at
the ninth when his ball moved as he made his shot.