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British Open 2013: Westwood Leads Going Into Final Day
Lee Westwood managed to hold off Tiger Woods and take a two-shot lead into the final round of the 142nd Open Championship.
In an absorbing afternoon of golf, both Westwood and Tiger battled it out beneath the warm sun, with the Englishman eventually holding firm to fire a 70 and finish three under.
Woods faltered a little on the 17th and carded a 72 to end one under alongside fellow American Hunter Mahan, who shot 68. Overnight leader Miguel Angel Jimenez fell away from the pack with 77.
Adam Scott moved to level par on his own with a very respectable one-under 70.
The Muirfield course was particularly testing and a number of groups were put to the clock, including the final pairings of Woods and Westwood, as well as Stenson and Jimenez. Japan’s Hideki Maruyama was penalised a shot for receiving two slow play warnings.
Timekeeping, however, was merely a sideshow to the true drama which unfolded in the penultimate group, which consisted of world number 12 Westwood and top-ranking Tiger Woods. The duo started the day two under, one shot off the pace of Jimenez, but the duel ignited on the long fifth when Westwood took a driver off the fairway for his second shot and then holed a wonder curving rolling putt from the front of the green for an eagle and the lead.
Westwood had his nose in front at three under with a birdie on the 14th but pulled his tee shot into thick rough on the short 16th and could only carve out short of the green. He then putted up the bank to 15 feet, before crucially slotting the putt to escape with just a bogey to slip back alongside the American.
Woods then made a scruffy three-putt bogey on the long 17th to Westwood's birdie, and the Englishman was back in front by two.
Two pars up the last put Westwood in pole position to clinch his maiden major at the 62nd attempt. And the good news for Westwood is that Woods, who is chasing a 15th major and a first since 2008, has never won a major when trailing going into the final day.
Elsewhere, Argentina's double major winner Angel Cabrera (73), first-round leader and 2007 Masters champion Zach Johnson (73), fellow American Ryan Moore (72) and Sweden's Henrik Stenson (74) were tied on one over.
Phil Mickelson climbed to one under after 12 holes but gave away shots at the three of the next four holes for a 72. He ended two over with Francesco Molinari (72).
Sergio Garcia found form with a 68 to climb to three over alongside Matsuyama (72), American Brandt Snedeker (69), who led after the second round last year, Wales' Jamie Donaldson (71) and Australian Jason Day (72).