Doral is the only course left on his regular PGA Tour schedule where he has never finished out of the top 10. That streak remains in play, though he is too far back from the leaders to be considered a serious threat.
"The scores being as low as they are, the winning score is probably going to be in the 20s," he said. "So you're going to have to take care of those par 5s."
Even though both flirted with contention, neither was a factor late in the day.
Watson had a four-shot lead over Rose going to the par-3 ninth, and Rose showed how quickly things could change. He made birdie as Watson three-putted, a two-shot swing. Watson misjudged a chip and had to settle for par on the 10th, while Rose got up-and-down from a bunker for birdie. Rose made his fourth straight birdie on the 11th and was tied for the lead.
Watson hit a man with his tee shot on the 12th, but wound up making a 15-foot birdie to regain the lead, and he stretched it from there. His one nervous moment came on the 16th, when he caught too much ball out of the sand and it was flew well over the green, headed for a pond Watson didn't even know was there. The ball hit a tower, and he escaped with bogey.
DIVOTS: Thomas Bjorn went 49 holes without a bogey until a double bogey on the 14th. He then made bogey two of the next four holes for a 75, falling from contention. ... McIlroy is among those happy to see Donald Trump has purchased Doral. Given the low scoring, McIlroy said it was a resort course and needs work. "It was a tough test 15 years ago, but now it's just outdated," he said. "They definitely need to do something with it, and it's great to see that Trump is taking over the place."