Jason Day leads at the Wells Fargo Championship after 3 rounds

From bad to worse: Tiger's putting ice cold

With AP Photos.Jason Day sputtered at the start and hit his stride on the back nine for a 4-under 67 to build a two-shot lead going into the final round of the Wells Fargo Championship.

The 30-year-old, who is looking for his 12th win on the PGA Tour, stormed the back nine on Saturday to give himself some breathing space ahead of Sunday's final round. Rory McIlroy shot 5-under 66 and Tiger Woods carded a 3-under 68.

Adrift of overnight leader Peter Malnati by one shot at the halfway mark, Day's second successive 67 - which included five birdies and just one bogey - saw the 2015 US PGA Championship victor put himself in the box seat for his first title since January's Farmers Insurance Open.

Phil Mickelson also took advantage of the softer greens to shoot a seven-under 64 and move into 10th at five-under 208.

Putting had been one of Woods's strongest facets of his game since his return - he ranked 8th in Strokes Gained Putting (.739) entering the week - but a cold putter held him back during the first two rounds at Quail Hollow: he ranked 120th (-1.268) and 144th (-2.609), respectively. There's a lot of good players that are trying to win for the first time this season or the second time this season, and I think they're able to get out there with a little bit less pressure, post a score.

Woods picked up six birdies to reach one-under 212 but finished the round on a sour note with a three-putt bogey on 18. He was nine shots behind.

Peter Malnati, the 54-hole leader, fell back with a 4-over 75, and a leaderboard which lacked early star power is suddenly rich with recognizability as Day looks to close out another victory and move closer to his newfound goal.

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PGA Tour rookie Aaron Wise almost had a collapse late until he salvaged a most unlikely bogey. With his ball on a sharp downslope a few feet from the rock-framed banks of the stream, he considered a penalty drop that would have taken double bogey out of the picture.

He hit the next one across the green to 40 feet, and knocked that in for bogey. Schwartzel had an erratic back nine that featured three birdies and three bogeys on his way to a 70.

"That was going to be a devastating hole", he said. "I didn't feel like I was really committed to shots, I didn't feel like I was really great".

Day is in charge, but not in the clear. Watney hasn't won in almost six years. Uihlein wound up three shots behind at 7-under 206 and still hasn't won on the PGA Tour.

Peter Uihlein, who had the low round of the day with a 62, Bryson DeChambeau, Paul Casey of England and Aaron Wise are three shots back at 7 under.

"I'd much rather be in this position than chasing", Day said.

"I feel like it's right on the end of the tip", he said, smiling and rubbing together the tips of his fingers. Save those last two holes, and he'd realistically be in contention for Sunday. "I'm driving it better than I ever have before in my career". "I definitely would take either". "It's not too far".

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