Golf

Schwartzel gives chase

2011-12-17 13:02

Bangkok - Masters champion Charl Schwartzel shot a second straight 6-under 66 on Saturday to reduce Lee Westwood's lead to four strokes at the Thailand Golf Championship.

Westwood led by 11 strokes at the halfway stage after going bogey-free on the opening two days but a 1-over 73 in the third round allowed Schwartzel to peg him back.

Schwartzel holed four straight birdies from the 2nd hole and was within three shots of the lead heading to the last but a bogey 5 gave Westwood some breathing space.

Michael Thompson of the United States had a 3-under 69 to lie third at 12 under, seven shots adrift of Westwood.

"I didn't expect to be four shots back at the start of today's round," Schwartzel said. "I knew I had to shoot a low score. Lee didn't play particularly well. I've seen him play much better golf.

"I feel I still need to shoot a 64 or 65 on the last day to get a chance. At least there's a light at the end of the tunnel now. Four shots is not much out there."

Schwartzel came from four shots back to win his first major at the Masters in April.

"I've won about two or three tournaments where I was four shots behind," he said. "I don't know what the secret is. I just play my own game when I'm out there."

Westwood's total of 197 for three rounds left him at 19 under. The Englishman shot a career-low score of 60 in the first round and followed that with a 64.

He had four bogeys on Saturday as his form dipped.

"After a 60 and 64, you have to be a bit realistic unfortunately," Westwood said. "A lot of people are going to think you're going to shoot 60, 62 and 64 every day but I'm afraid golf is not like that. Every day you have to reset your goals and your sights.

"A four-shot lead into the last round is a good position to be in."

Leading scores after the third round of the $1 million Thailand Golf Championship at the par-72 Amata Spring Golf Course on Saturday.

197 - Lee Westwood (ENG) 60-64-73

201 - Charl Schwartzel (RSA) 69-66-66

204 - Michael Thompson USA) 69-66-69

206 - Guido Van Der Valk (NED) 71-69-66

208 - Jyoti Randhawa 73-70-65

209 - Chawalit Plaphol (THA) 73-71-65, Rikard Karlberg (SWE) 72-71-66, Daisuke Maruyama (JAP) 73-68-68, Prom Meesawat (THA) 72-68-69

210 - Kwanchai Tannin (THA) 69-71-70, John Daly (USA) 65-73-72

211 - Tetsuji Hiratsuka (JAP) 71-72-68, Jeev Milkha Singh (IND) 71-68-72, Gregory Bourdy (FRA) 68-71-72, Gaganjeet Bhullar (IND) 70-69-72

212 - Scott Barr (AUS) 72-71-69

213 - Alex Cejka (GER) 71-71-71, Chinnarat Phadungsil (THA) 72-69-72, Lu Chien-soon (TPE) 69-71-73

214 - Marcus Both (AUS) 72-73-69, Quincy Quek (SIN) 74-69-71, Thaworn Wiratchant (THA) 68-73-73

Selected:

217 - Sergio Garcia (ESP) 76-71-70

220 - Darren Clarke (NIR) 71-76-73

224 - Ryo Ishikawa (JAP) 70-77-77

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