Westwood holds narrow advantage

11/4/2012 5:13:06 AM
Lee Westwood  (Getty Images)
Lee Westwood (Getty Images)
Lee Westwood held a one shot lead midway through the final round of the World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions at Mission Hills.

Level with South African Louis Oosthuizen at the start of the day, the World Number Four from England turned in a two under par 34; despite a double bogey at the short fifth.

At 20 under par the 39 year old led by one from Open Champion Ernie Els, compatriot Ian Poulter and American Phil Mickelson – twice a winner of this event.

Looking for his first WGC win in his 41st event – more than any other player – Westwood picked up shots at the third and fourth, the latter after a brilliant approach to five feet.

Leading by three at that stage, his advantage was wiped out after he missed the green at the par three fifth, chipped to 25 feet and three-putted as Oosthuizen made a birdie from 30 feet.

There was a quick response from Westwood, who birdied the sixth from 20 feet and curled in a 40 foot putt at the eighth.

Poulter and Els had already birdied there from 25 and 20 feet respectively – the playing partners both five under for their rounds through ten holes.

Four-time Major Champion Mickelson was playing with Westwood and Oosthuizen in the final group, and turned in 32 to be only one back, while Oosthuizen’s outward 36 left him two off the pace in fifth position.

It was all change at the start of the back nine. Westwood bogeyed the tenth and 12th and Poulter's further birdies at the 11th and 14th took him two in front at 21 under.

Mickelson was in second place, but had missed a four foot par putt on the 12th, while Els missed from even closer at the 14th and so fell three behind with Westwood, Oosthuizen and also defending champion Martin Kaymer.