Westwood's birdie splurge puts him in Dubai shake-up

Sat Nov 16, 2013 7:53am EST
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By Matt Smith

DUBAI (Reuters) - England's Lee Westwood struck a seven-under-par 65 in the third round of the $8-million DP World Tour Championship on Saturday to give the former world number one a fighting chance of claiming his first European title of 2013.

The 40-year-old, who has managed just one top-10 finish on the PGA and European Tours since June, made five birdies on the front nine and picked up further shots on the 10th and 11th.

But his charge stalled with a bogey on the 12th and he made par on the remaining holes except for a last birdie on 15 to put him on aggregate 11-under par 205.

"I got in my own way a little bit on the back nine, I could have 10-under conceivably, but 65 puts me in with a better chance than when I went off this morning," said Westwood.

"I didn't mind bogeying the 12th, that's a difficult hole, but I hit it close on the 13th and the 16th and missed both."

The world number 23 is among a clutch of British players ruing a disappointing season, with Rory McIlroy and Luke Donald - who are both former world number ones - also winless.

"I've not been playing very well. I've not been hitting it close and not been making anything," said Westwood.

He said his swing has not been "in sync" all year.   Continued...

Lee Westwood of Britain tees off on the third hole during the third round of the inaugural Turkish Airlines Open in the southwest city of Antalya November 9, 2013. REUTERS/Umit Bektas