European tour ti­tle hope for West­wood

Sunday Sun - - Cricket -

Close House’s Lee West­wood LEE West­wood re­mains in con­tention for a first European Tour ti­tle since 2014 at the KLM Open af­ter a third-round 67 left him three be­hind leader Ki­radech Aphibarn­rat.

For­mer world num­ber one West­wood – down to 61st in the rank­ings af­ter a bar­ren cou­ple of years – carded five birdies against a sin­gle bo­gey, with the high­light a 20-foot putt made from off the green at the 11th.

“I’m hit­ting it very con­sis­tently and feel like I’ve got pretty good con­trol of my swing,” West­wood told the European Tour web­site.

“I haven’t been in con­tention that much re­cently, so it’s nice to get in there and have a chance.”

At 11 un­der par, the Ry­der Cup star is in a share of fourth, with Aphibarn­rat lead­ing the way af­ter a birdie from 25 feet on the 18th gave him a round of 66 and 14-un­der to­tal.

France’s Ro­main Wat­tel shot a flaw­less 64 to lie sec­ond on 13 un­der, with his com­pa­triot and overnight leader Joel Stal­ter a shot fur­ther back af­ter sign­ing for a 69.

Thai­land’s Aphibarn­rat led for much of the third round but missed a string of birdie chances on the way in at The Dutch. A shot be­hind halfway lead­ers Joakim Lager­gren and Stal­ter once the sec­ond round was com­pleted yes­ter­day morn­ing, Aphibarn­rat made four birdies in an out­ward 31 to take the out­right lead.

Wat­tel had al­ready made five birdies when he al­most holed his tee shot to the 14th, and the sub­se­quent birdie and a gain from eight feet at the 16th drew him level, only for Aphibarn­rat to strike at the last to re­gain the ini­tia­tive.

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