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Lee Westwood leads British Open; Tiger Woods two shots back

3:42 PM, Jul 20, 2013   |    comments
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Lee Westwood of England will take a two-shot lead into the final round of the British Open. (Photo: Peter Morrison, AP)

 

GULLANE, Scotland (USA TODAY) - Lee Westwood will be the man to beat Sunday in the final round of the British Open.

The 40-year-old from England will have a chance to erase the title that often is affixed to him: Best player never to win a major.

LEADERBOARD: 142nd British Open

Westwood shot a third-round 1-under 70 on Saturday at firm, fast, brutal Muirfield Gold Club to get to 3 under for the tournament. He will take a two-shot lead into the final round.

ROUND 3: Hole by hole with Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods shot a third-round 1-over 72 and is at 1 under par for the tournament, two back of Westwood. Woods is even with Hunter Mahan, who shot a 68. Masters champion Adam Scott shot 70 to get to even par.

SLOW PLAY: Matsuyama penalized a stroke

"I had a blast out there," Westwood said. "I enjoy playing with Tiger."

Mahan will be in the final group with Westwood on Sunday. Woods will be paired with Scott.

Henrik Stenson (74), Angel Cabrera (73), Zach Johnson (73) and Ryan Moore (72) are at 1 over par. Phil Mickelson (72) is in a group at 2 over.

Miguel Angel Jimenez, the 36-hole leader, stumbled to a 77 and is in a group of five at 3 over par.

Westwood is 0-for-62 in major championships, but he has been close before. He has finished second or third seven times, including runner-ups in the Masters and British Open.

His frustrations have mostly come because of a faulty putter.

But he has been among the best putters this week, including a couple of big ones on Saturday. One was a bogey putt on the par-3 16th that saved him from what looked like was going to be a messy double bogey, followed by a birdie on 17.

In 2010, Westwood led the Open after 54 holes but struggled with his driver in the final round, and Louis Oosthuizen went on to win.

Woods, who played in the next-to-last group with Westwood, struggled on the greens for much of the day, and he couldn't make birdie putts and a couple of par savers. Even so, he will be very much in the mix on Sunday, trying to end a five-year drought at the majors.

"This golf course is playing different today. They really slowed it up," Woods said.

Woods will have to do what he has never done before: Come from behind in the final round to win a major.

There are 17 players within six shots of the lead, and that is the margin by which Ernie Els trailed a year ago when he came from behind to defeat Scott. Six of the last seven major winners have come from behind to win.

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