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Aug 15, 2010

American Nick Watney is on course for a maiden major title as he takes a three-shot lead into the final round of the US PGA Championship in Wisconsin.

Watney lit up Whistling Straits on Saturday with a sensational third round of 66 which put him at 13-under overall.

The 29-year-old hit eight birdies and two bogeys in his six-under to open up a handy break after day three.

American Dustin Johnson and 21-year-old Rory McIlroy head the challengers after both shot five-under 67s to lie at 10-under.

McIlroy, who won his maiden PGA Tour title at the Quail Hollow Championship in May, hit three birdies on his first five holes before coming home with birdies on the 10th, 13th and 16th holes to push his claims for a first major.

China's Liang Wen-chong, in just his second PGA Championship, set a new course record with a sparkling 64 to move to nine-under alongside Australian Jason Day (66) and German Martin Kaymer (67).

Australian veteran Steve Elkington, 2003 US Open winner Jim Furyk, 2007 Masters champion Zach Johnson and Jason Dufner were another shot back at eight-under.

Liang started on the back nine but nailed five birdies in the first half of his round. He added three more on the front to boast the day's most impressive score.

Tiger Woods' hopes of a 15th major are gone with the American a whopping 10 shots behind leader Watney.

Woods, who was forced to finish his second round in the morning and shot a 70, returned in the afternoon to complete a third-round 72, leaving him two shots ahead of Phil Mickelson, who could only manage a disappointing one-over 73.

Former champion Padraig Harrington was among those to miss the cut after a double bogey on the 18th hole, while British Open winner Louis Oosthuizen and US Open champ Graeme McDowell also made early exits.