SA Open

Westwood storms into lead

2008-12-20 18:02
Lee Westwood
Paarl - Lee Westwood will take a two-stroke lead into the final round of the South African Open and is hoping to become only the seventh foreign winner of this championship.

The European Ryder Cup star posted a third round of 68 for a total of 14 under par, with Ireland's Gareth Maybin and Frenchman Michael Lorenzo-Vera his nearest challengers on 12 under.

Double US Open champion Retief Goosen is only three strokes off the lead and feeling confident of his chances. Goosen turned around a disappointing front nine of one over par with a back nine of four under.

"I thought I was out of it after that front nine, but then I played great coming in. It will take a low round on the final day to win this, but I'm back in it," he said.

Ernie Els was amongst the challengers only two strokes off the lead overnight. But a disastrous 77, featuring two triple-bogey sevens on his card, saw him finish the day on five under.

Westwood again managed his game to perfection on Saturday, keeping the bogeys off his card and not allowing the frustrations of a putter that hasn't fired all year to get to him.

After birdying two of his first three holes, Westwood made ten frustrating pars thereafter before holing a six-foot putt for birdie on the 14th and then birdying the last as well.

"I'm pleased with the way I've played. I've been very solid and have made only one bogey in three rounds. But I could've made eight birdies out there. “I’ve putted okay but still missed a lot of chances," he said, echoing what has been a frustrating part of his game all year.

"I can't figure it out. I've had something like 14 top tens this year and feel that if I had a good putter I could quite easily have won six or seven tournaments, one of them being a Major. That's the standard I've been playing at. Maybe I'll figure it out by the time I'm 50."

Lorenzo-Vera enjoyed a two-stroke lead going into the round, but crashed off the top of the leaderboard early on with a double bogey on the par-five third, giving Westwood the lead.

South Africa's George Coetzee produced four consecutive birdies from the third to also climb into contention, and went on to eagle the last for a place at 11 under and hunting the biggest victory of his young career.

Lorenzo-Vera reclaimed the lead when he eagled the fifth, but relinquished it again to Westwood when he dropped three shots in two holes with a bogey on 11 and a double bogey on the short 12th. The Frenchman birdied his final hole for a 72 and a total of 12 under.

Rory McIlroy added to the drama when he birdied four of his final five holes for a 67 to also line up on 11 under.

But Westwood held his nerve and his grip on this championship.

Scores after round three:

202 - 
Lee Westwood (Britain) 66 68 68

204 - 
Michael Lorenzo-Vera (France) 67 65 72
Gareth Maybin (Britain) 66 69 69

205 - 
George Coetzee (South Africa) 69 68 68
Retief Goosen (South Africa) 70 66 69
Rory McIlroy (Britain) 70 68 67

206 - 
Damien McGrane (Ireland) 70 64 72
Bernd Wiesberger (Austria) 72 69 65

207 - 
Len Mattiace (U.S.) 70 66 71
Ross McGowan (Britain) 66 70 71

208 - 
Darren Clarke (Britain) 74 67 67
Simon Dyson (Britain) 67 73 68
Richard Sterne (South Africa) 72 69 67
Alessandro Tadini (Italy) 68 74 66
Jaco Van Zyl (South Africa) 66 71 71
Chris Wood (Britain) 68 69 71

209 -
Branden Grace (South Africa) 69 67 73
Michael Hoey (Britain) 70 66 73
John Mellor (Britain) 70 68 71
Louis Oosthuizen (South Africa) 69 73 67
Fabrizio Zanotti (Paraguay) 64 72 73

210 - 
Thomas Aiken (South Africa) 71 64 75
Tim Clark (South Africa) 67 73 70
Andrew Coltart (Britain) 71 72 67
Adilson Da Silva (Brazil) 70 68 72
Richard Finch (Britain) 69 70 71
Trevor Fisher (South Africa) 72 67 71
Oskar Henningsson (Sweden) 65 74 71
Keith Horne (South Africa) 66 70 74
Trevor Immelman (South Africa) 69 71 70
Gary Lockerbie (Britain) 72 69 69
Garth Mulroy (South Africa) 70 71 69
Gary Murphy (Ireland) 72 71 67
Ake Nilsson (Sweden) 66 72 72
Jarmo Sandelin (Sweden) 72 70 68
Henrik Stenson (Sweden) 70 71 69

211 - 
Merrick Bremner (South Africa) 71 69 71
Pelle Edberg (Sweden) 71 71 69
Ernie Els (South Africa) 67 67 77
Martin Erlandsson (Sweden) 74 69 68
Dion Fourie (South Africa) 70 71 70
David Frost (South Africa) 68 72 71
Dave Horsey (Britain) 70 65 76
Rory Sabbatini (South Africa) 66 71 74
Lee Slattery (Britain) 68 72 71
Martin Wiegele (Austria) 69 68 74

212 - 
Magnus Carlsson (Sweden) 70 70 72
David Drysdale (Britain) 74 68 70
Johan Edfors (Sweden) 72 70 70
Darren Fichardt (South Africa) 67 74 71
Peter Hanson (Sweden) 74 68 70
Hennie Otto (South Africa) 68 72 72
Charl Schwartzel (South Africa) 69 65 78

213 –
Christiaan Basson (South Africa) 73 69 71
Jeppe Huldahl (Denmark) 69 71 73
Michael Jonzon (Sweden) 70 70 73
Richie Ramsay (Britain) 66 72 75
Tyrone Van Aswegen (South Africa) 72 71 70

214 –
Rafael Cabrera Bello (Spain) 69 74 71
Carlos Del Moral (Spain) 69 68 77
Peter Karmis (South Africa) 69 71 74
Callum Macaulay (Britain) 71 69 74
Jake Roos (South Africa) 70 70 74
Justin Rose (Britain) 69 74 71
Patrik Sjoland (Sweden) 72 69 73

215 - 
Ariel Canete (Argentina) 73 70 72
Marco Ruiz (Paraguay) 69 73 73

216 - 
Wil Besseling (Netherlands) 75 68 73
Tyrone Ferreira (South Africa) 74 69 73
Adrian Ford (South Africa) 70 71 75
Estanislao Goya (Argentina) 70 72 74
Alan McLean (Britain) 71 72 73

217 -
Steve Basson (South Africa) 72 71 74
Birgir Hafthorsson (Iceland) 71 72 74

219 - 
Antti Ahokas (Finland) 71 69 79
Albert Pistorius (South Africa) 68 75 76

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