• Nedbank Golf Challenge, Round Three

Westwood on brink of title after superb 62

ESPN staff
December 3, 2011
Lee Westwood putted brilliantly on day three © Getty Images

Defending champion Lee Westwood stormed clear on day three of the Nedbank Golf Challenge in South Africa thanks to a terrific round of 62.

Westwood, who ended the tournament as world No. 1 last year, is 16 under and seven shots clear of second-placed duo Graeme McDowell and Robert Karlsson. It is hard to envisage how the Englishman could have played any better: he averaged a shade under 293 yards from the tee, hitting 83% of fairways, and required a mere 25 putts.

He turned in 32, having picked up four birdies on the front nine, then picked up another six shots on the way in, including successive birdies between holes 14 and 17.

Overnight leader McDowell saw his chances of victory effectively evaporate when he picked up a double bogey at 17. The Ulsterman had struggled for rhythm all day but, until that penultimate hole, was battling hard to stay in contention. However, his 70 was not enough, and he is now squinting to see Westwood at the top.

Fourth place is shared by Jason Dufner and Martin Kaymer, both of whom are at eight under.

Current world No. 1 Luke Donald has struggled to tame the Sun City course, and a third successive round in the 70s has left him at five under. Darren Clarke is three over and 11th in the 12-man field, three shots clear of Francesco Molinari.

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