Westwood smiling at Sun City
Lee Westwood is on course to win the Nedbank Challenge – taking a five-shot lead into the final round.
Lee Westwood is on course to win the Nedbank Golf Challenge, taking a five-shot lead into the final round despite an indifferent third day at Sun City.
The world number one carded a one-under-par round of 71 to go with his flawless second-round 64 and 68 on day one – ending on 13 under overall.
However, most of his closest rivals failed to match his effort as low scoring was hard to come by on a much more difficult day at the Gary Player Country Club.
Fellow Englishman Ross Fisher, three behind overnight in second place, went around in 73, including a double bogey on his penultimate hole that saw him slip back to eight under, alongside Tim Clark – one of just two players to shoot 68s.
Spain’s Miguel Angel Jimenez and South African Ernie Els matched Westwood’s 71, which helped them improve to seven and six under respectively.
Els is joined by Anders Hansen, the other player to manage a round-of-the-day 68, and Padraig Harrington after the Irishman carded a level-par 72.
Speaking afterwards, Westwood conceded that it was the most difficult of the three days so far.
His round, which was looking like a good one after 12 holes when he had managed three birdies, then suffered a little as two fives – on the par-four 13 and par-four 17 – saw him throw away a potentially even bigger lead.
He said: “I thought it was tricky out there today, there was a bit more wind than there has been on the other days.
“The tees were back so the holes played longer and it was pretty hot out there.
“Down that back nine I felt a little bit drained and my legs got a little bit weary, it was probably just the heat.
“But to come out of it with a five shot lead is a big bonus.”
Fisher suffered even more on the back nine, where he had two bogeys and a double bogey in the last five holes – the double coming when his approach to the 17th green was short and slipped into the water forcing a drop.
“It was all going pretty smoothly for around 12 or 13 holes…I was right in there. Unfortunately I then took six on the par five (14) and then dropped one on the next.
“So I was kind of playing catch-up a bit and then on 17 Westwood pulled it into the rough and I knew I had a chance there. I was in the middle of the fairway, I thought I had a lovely shot, but then misjudged it.
“It was just a disappointing day.”
Italian Edoardo Molinari suffered a huge turn in fortune after his 67 in round two was followed on Saturday by a 73 for a five-under total.
The rest of the 12-man field was made up of Retief Goosen (70) on four under, Robert Allenby (73) three under, Justin Rose (72) two under and Open champion Louis Oosthuizen (72) level par.
England’s Charley Hull triumphs in Texas to end six-year wait for LPGA title
The victory was the 26-year-old’s first on the LPGA Tour since prevailing at the CME Group Tour Championship in November 2016.
Ryan Fox remembers Shane Warne after St Andrews success
The New Zealander secured his third DP World Tour title in front of his family with a one-shot victory at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.
Romain Langasque equals course record to lead Alfred Dunhill Links Championship
The Frenchman recovered from an early bogey with two eagles and eight birdies to reach 11 under par.
Rory McIlroy bemoans ‘ugly year’ and seeks solution to divide in golf world
The arrival of Saudi-backed LIV Golf series has fractured the game in 2022.
On this day in 2014 – Europe retain Ryder Cup with Gleneagles victory
The Gleneagles victory was Europe’s eighth win in 10 matches.
‘Is this where I am going to die?’ Nicolas Colsaerts on kidney disorder battle
The Belgian is the focus of attention this week as he belatedly defends the Cazoo Open de France title he won three years ago.
On this day in 2008: Ryder Cup misery in Louisville for Nick Faldo’s Europe team
Faldo was heavily criticised for his tactics in the closing singles.
Open champion Cameron Smith wins first LIV trophy in just second start
The world number two is the highest-ranked player to join the rebel series.
Robert MacIntyre beats Matt Fitzpatrick in play-off to win Italian Open
MacIntyre birdied the first extra hole at Marco Simone Golf and Country Club, the venue for next year’s Ryder Cup.
Matt Fitzpatrick holds narrow lead ahead of final round at Italian Open
Rory McIlroy and Aaron Rai are one shot off the pace.