Westy ready to strike if Rory slips

A competitive Lee Westwood has still not given up hope of winning his first major at the 111th US Open on Sunday.

A competitive Lee Westwood has still not given up hope of winning his first major at the 111th US Open on Sunday – despite Rory McIlroy’s commanding eight-shot lead.

The Englishman, who shot a stunning six-under 65 in Saturday’s third round as against the Northern Ireland whiz-kid’s 3-under 68, was still questioning McIlroy’s so far unconvincing finishing skills and ability to make himself bullet-proof on the final day.

“You don’t know how Rory is going to do,” World No 2 told reporters after his blistering birdie-birdie-birdie-eagle run on the back nine.

“You don’t know how he’s going to deal with his big lead. He had a big lead in a major before and didn’t deal with it well.”

McIlroy held a four-stroke lead going into the final round of this year’s Masters, but wilted under the pressure with an ugly closing 80 to tumble out of contention.

“There’s pressure on him with regards to that,” Englishman Westwood pointed out. “So we’ll see. All I can do is control my game and try and shoot as low a score as possible. They don’t give trophies away on Fridays and Saturdays.”

Westwood is bidding for his first major title said he was upbeat with his performance in the last two rounds at Congressional after opening with a 75.

“I’m happy to be in the tournament,” said the 38-year-old who has twice been a runner-up in the majors along with three third-place finishes and whose ability to close might also be questioned

“I thought I was going home after my round on Thursday, I played dreadful.

“Today I drove the ball great. I put myself in position to be able to attack the flags. If you drive the ball well around this golf course, it’s scorable.”

Asked how he would approach Sunday’s final round with McIlroy seemingly in cruise control, Westwood replied: “I’ve set a target on Friday night. That’s all you can do when you’re chasing a big lead.

“I can’t control how Rory is going to play, nor can he control my game. So I’ll do that. My mission was to get myself somewhere into the tournament. I said maybe if I can get to 10 under at the weekend.”

Westwood might have some consolation, even if once more he has to be happy with a second or third place.

With World No 1 Luke Donald struggling in the nether regions on the scoreboard in his worst week of the year, Westwood could well regain his World No 1 spot again on Sunday