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WORLD SPORT

Donald leads birdie assault at PGA

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Donald edged ahead after an impeccable front nine holes.

MEDINAH, Illinois -- Briton Luke Donald led a birdie assault on the softened Medinah course to take a two-shot lead over Tiger Woods, Mike Weir and Shaun Micheel midway through Saturday's third round of the PGA Championship.

Donald was one of four overnight co-leaders at eight-under-par and part of a 10-way tie for the lead at one point, before he separated himself from the pack with an impeccable front nine.

A chip-in at the 435-yard ninth gave him his fifth birdie of the day and lifted him to 13-under.

With Medinah's greens made even more receptive by Friday's late rain, players were taking dead aim at the flags and birdies were plentiful.

Woods, gunning for his second major in a row after his British Open triumph last month, rolled in a 30-foot putt to save par after a wild drive at the first.

The world number one joined the birdie parade at the second, fifth, seventh and ninth and came agonizingly close to two others.

Canadian Weir, the 2003 Masters champion, and 2003 PGA winner Micheel started the day at five-under but fired at the greens as though they were playing darts, landing approach shots close for routine birdie putts.

Weir made four birdies in a row from the ninth to reach 11-under through 12 holes while Micheel registered his sixth birdie at the ninth.

Donald, who graduated at nearby Northwestern and is commuting to the tournament from a house he owns 40 minutes away, was in excellent form on the front nine and caught fire with his putter.

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Sindelar's albatross was only the third in tournament history.

The 28-year-old Briton needed only seven putts in his first six holes and did not need one at all at the ninth when his delicate chip from the rough off the green curled into the hole.

As Donald made the turn, the top four players had made 22 birdies against only one bogey.

Masters champion Phil Mickelson, U.S. Open winner Geoff Ogilvy of Australia, Spaniard Sergio Garcia and KJ Choi of South Korea were on nine-under.

Spectacular shot-making was the order of the day.

Davis Love III twice holed out from bunkers to make the turn at eight-under.

A rare albatross from American Joey Sindelar got the third round off to a flying start.

Sindelar holed his three-wood from 241 yards for a two at the 537-yard par-five fifth, only the third albatross in championship history.

But the 48-year-old struggled on the back nine as he carded a 73 for a one-over total of 217.

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