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Westwood storms into the lead...
Golf

Westwood storms into the lead as McIlroy falters at Bay Hill

A superb third round of 65 saw Lee Westwood shoot into the lead on a dramatic Saturday at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

The 47-year-old Englishman produced a colourful seven-under round to rise to 11-under, and put himself in the driving seat ahead of tonight's final round.

He registered eight birdies - and an eagle on the 16th - as well as three bogies.

There was more weekend frustration for Rory McIlroy, however.

The round one leader failed to make any significant inroads and eventually signed for a level-par 72.

He is four shots adrift of his former Ryder Cup teammate, with a whole host of top players between McIlroy and the lead.

They include Bryson DeChambeau, who is in second on ten-under alongside Canada's Corey Conners.

For leader Westwood, the final round presents a chance to end an 11-year drought without a win on American soil.

The veteran has shown good form in recent years, including a win at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship in 2020.

He was asked post-round whether he felt surprised to be in the lead - but his answer was defiant.

"I’m not surprised, no," he said.

"I haven't lost any of my length and I haven't lost any of my enthusiasm to go and work, and work in the gym.”

“My nerves are still intact, I still get into contention and enjoy it rather than kind of back off.”

"Everybody keeps asking me when I’m going to the Seniors Tour,” he continued, “So I think they’re trying to get rid of me.”

On an eventful day at Bayhill, there were two holes in one.

Jordan Spieth, who lies in a tie for fourth on nine-under, aced the second, while Jazz Janewattananod did likewise on the 14th.

Bryson DeChambeau also caught the high for a long drive on the 6th hole, over water.

His effort went 370 yards off the tee.

 

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