Rory McIlroy slipped into the lead of the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship early in Saturday's third round by avoiding the Blue Monster's toothy fourth hole.
Birdies on the par-4 No. 5 and the two front nine par-5s, Nos. 1 and 8, pushed McIlroy to 11-under par after eight holes. As importantly, he parred the par-3 No. 4. Of the top eight golfers on the leaderboard at 3:25, four parred it and four dropped bogeys: 36-hole leader Adam Scott, Dustin Johnson, Paul Casey and Phil Mickelson.
Scott's bogey and birdie on No. 8 put him at 10-under, one shot back of McIlroy. Johnson, even on the day, remained at 8-under and in third after starting the day tied for second with McIlroy.
A pair of Spaniards, Sergio Garcia and Rafa Cabrera Bello, produced the first hot rounds of the day. Each began the day even for the tournament and ended the day 5-under 211 after 5-under 67s. Garcia, second at The Honda Classic last week, has improved each round: 1-over, even, 5-under.
"A couple of putts dropped that have been lipping out the first couple of days," Garcia said. "I'm giving myself a lot of good chances at birdies and eagles."