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Westwood climbs leaderboard

Last updated: 3rd November 2012

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Westwood: Excellent third round

Westwood: Excellent third round

Lee Westwood shot a flawless 61 to claim a share of the lead after round three of the WGC-HSBC Champions at Mission Hills on Saturday.

Westwood carded 11 birdies, including four on the bounce from holes 14 to 17, but still did not record the best round of the day as Brandt Snedeker moved up the leaderboard with a superb 60.

Louis Oosthuizen retained a share of the lead alongside Westwood - who are both on 18-under - after shooting a two-under round of 70, which could have been better but for some poor putting.

The South African will now play in the final group on Sunday alongside Westwood and Phil Mickelson, who put himself in third on his own with a birdie three on the last which saw him sign for a six-under round of 66, putting him on 15-under.

Bill Haas, Ernie Els and Ian Poulter are one shot back, although Els was left to rue a double bogey and the 15th and a bogey at the next, which prevented him from moving further up the field.

Meanwhile Poulter did a Rory McIlroy as he Tweeted that he had a shortened warm-up when he woke up a bit too close to his tee-time for comfort, but he responded as McIlroy did at the Ryder Cup with a 65 putting him in that tie for fourth on 14-under.

Snedeker was the man of the moment though, even if he finished in disappointing fashion when he agonisingly missed a putt on the 18th green for a 59. However his 60 still rocketed him up the field into seventh.

"I was disappointed not to shoot 59," he said.

"In a career you might only get a couple of chances to do it. When I made eagle at the 15th the idea of shooting 59 came to me but I knew I needed to make birdie at the last three holes."

Westwood is making a record 41st start at a World Golf Championship event but is still chasing a first victory after finishing as runner-up three times.

"It does surprise me I've played more than anyone else," said Westwood. "I didn't realise I was that old! I know I've played a lot but I've never won one.

"As the week's gone on, and we've played it and walked it more, I started to sort of get a feel for the golf course more and sort of see the lower scores around it.

"I played very solidly, got off to a nice start, birdied the first three holes and kept ticking over, birdieing the odd hole and finished strongly. I hit it good, hit it in the fairway, hit it close, and made a couple of 20 footers which has been missing."



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