Westwood retains narrow lead

4/11/2010 8:59:58 PM
Lee Westwood  (Getty Images)
Lee Westwood (Getty Images)

Lee Westwood continued to hold a slender advantage as the leaders got underway in the final round of The Masters Tournament.

Westwood, looking to become the first European winner of the event since Jose Maria Olazabal in 1999, got off to a disappointing start when a wayward drive resulted in a bogey at the first.

But the Englishman responded by reaching the par five second in two and recording a birdie to move back to 12 under par, one clear of playing partner and two-time champion Phil Mickelson.

Westwood was soon back alongside Mickelson after three putting from the edge of the short fourth, but he regained his advantage once more as a wonderful approach set up a birdie on the fifth.

KJ Choi picked up two shots in the opening six holes to climb to ten under.

Choi birdied the second before rescuing an unlikely par on the third with a stuning putt from off the front of the green.

The Korean then grabbed another birdie on the par three sixth to move to within two of the lead.

Fred Couples was a shot further back on nine under, but the veteran American could have been in an even better position, with a number of his putts slipping agonisingly past the hole.

The anticipated charge from Tiger Woods was failing to materialise, the world number one making a scrappy bogey at the first and struggling to save par two holes later.

Woods then dropped further shots at the fourth and fifth to drop to five over, with his hopes of a fifth Green Jacket seemingly slipping away.

England’s Ian Poulter, who slipped down the field on Saturday following a 74, picked up a shot on the third to move to seven under, the same score as Anthony Kim.

The later starters were all hoping to replicate the efforts of Spain’s Miguel Angel Jimenez, who picked up six shots to move to three under for the tournament with one hole of his round remaining.

Ernie Els was another to make progress on the final day, the South African closing with a 68 to end on one under.

Sixteen year old Matteo Manassero, who was already certain to claim the Silver Cup for leading amateur, carded a 72 to finish on four over.

Retief Goosen ended the week with a 73, leaving him on six over, while Spain’s Sergio Garcia was four shots further back following a disappointing 78.

Earlier in the day, Nathan Green had become the 12th player in the history of the tournament to make a hole in one on the 16th, with Ryan Moore repeating the feat soon after.