Westwood holds off Fisher
Lee Westwood (Gallo Images)
Stockholm - World number three Lee Westwood kept the chasing pack at bay to maintain a three-shot lead going into the final round of the Nordea Masters on Friday.
A day after carding a stunning 64, a round of 68 was good enough for Westwood to maintain the advantage he had enjoyed at the halfway stage at Bro Hof Slott Golf Club.
Fellow Englishman Ross Fisher, rather than Swede Peter Hanson, is now his nearest challenger with Hanson a further shot adrift.
Westwood finished the day on 16 under par, with Fisher 13 under after a superb 65 and Ryder Cup team-mate Hanson a further shot back after a battling 69.
"I played well," said Westwood. "I hit a lot of good shots and it was solid stuff. I didn't get into too much trouble - I had a bit of a flyer on the second and that was the only bogey I made all day."
Westwood had started in the perfect fashion with a birdie on the par-five first, but that flier on the second saw him run up a bogey five.
The world number three bounced back quickly with a stunning approach to the par-three fourth which finished just inches from the flag to set up the easiest of birdies.
A number of other chances went begging on the front nine before Westwood rolled in a hat-trick of birdies from the 11th to ensure he would keep his nose in front following yesterday's superb 64.
"I did misread a couple of putts on the front nine, the one on five and the one on eight, but other than that I putted well," he added.
"I've read the greens well this week and rolled in a couple of nice ones on the back nine.
"It (the weather) changed coming up 14, the breeze picked up a little bit and made 14, 15, 16 play a bit tricky. That's what happens round this golf course, it's quite exposed out there on the lake and it's no easy finish."
Westwood and Hanson played together for the third day running, with the Swede doing well to remain in contention after running up a double-bogey six on the eighth to be out in 37.
Four birdies on the back nine saw Hanson home in 32 to finish 12 under, but Fisher will partner Westwood tomorrow after his flawless 65.
Fisher put last week's one-shot penalty for slow play during the final round of the Wales Open firmly behind him, carding three birdies on the front nine and four on the back to storm up the leaderboard.
England's Richard Bland is five shots off the lead in fourth after a 68, with Swedish duo Michael Jonzon and Alexander Noren sharing fifth another shot back.
Defending champion Noren looked out of contention after an opening 74, but has responded with consecutive rounds of 66.
Collated third round scores in the European Tour Nordea Masters at Bro Hoff Slott GC on Friday (Gbr & Irl unless stated, par 72):
200 - Lee Westwood 68 64 68
203 - Ross Fisher 70 68 65
204 - Peter Hanson (SWE) 67 68 69
205 - Richard Bland 67 70 68
206 - Alexander Noren (SWE) 74 66 66, Michael Jonzon (SWE) 68 68 70
207 - Carlos Del Moral (ESP) 68 67 72, Jeev Milkha Singh (IND) 73 66 68, Mikko Ilonen (FIN) 70 69 68, Estanislao Goya (ARG) 70 68 69, Joakim Lagergren (SWE) 70 68 69, Felipe Aguilar (CHI) 69 70 68, Bernd Wiesberger (AUT) 69 71 67, Marcus Fraser (AUS) 72 70 65, Gregory Havret (FRA) 70 69 68
208 - Daniel Denison 68 70 70, Andy Sullivan 68 71 69, Sergio Garcia (ESP) 69 69 70, Thorbjorn Olesen (DEN) 71 68 69, Pelle Edberg (SWE) 69 69 70, Darren Fichardt (RSA) 70 70 68
209 - Peter Whiteford 71 69 69, Jens Dantorp (SWE) 76 67 66, Pablo Larrazabal (ESP) 71 70 68, Anthony Wall 69 70 70, Andrew Marshall 73 70 66, Richard Green (AUS) 72 69 68, Jamie Donaldson 72 69 68, Ignacio Garrido (ESP) 67 69 73, Rafael Cabrera Bello (ESP) 71 69 69, Richard Sterne (RSA) 69 67 73
210 - Roope Kakko (FIN) 70 68 72, Magnus A Carlsson (SWE) 65 72 73, Kristoffer Broberg (SWE) 71 68 71, Lloyd Saltman 71 64 75, Johan Edfors (SWE) 72 69 69, Tjaart van der Walt (RSA) 72 68 70, Reinier Saxton (NED) 70 70 70, Edoardo Molinari (ITA) 72 69 69
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