European tour title hope for Westwood
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.