• WGC-HSBC Champions, Round Three

Westwood on a mission in Shenzhen

ESPN staff
November 3, 2012
Lee Westwood was in red-hot form at Mission Hills © Getty Images

WGC-HSBC Champions leaderboard

Lee Westwood carded a blistering 61 to move into a share of the lead heading into the final round of the WGC-HSBC Champions at Mission Hills.

The world No. 4 rattled in 11 birdies in a bogey-free round to move level with Louis Oosthuizen on 18-under.

Westwood, who trailed overnight leader Oosthuizen by five strokes at the start of play, burst out of the blocks, opening with three birdies, and he picked up a further three shots to reach the turn in 30.

It was a similar story on the back nine as Westwood drained four consecutive birdies between 14 and 17 to surge up the leaderboard.

"The idea as a professional is to get in the hunt on Sunday and win the tournament and see how you can do, test yourself against the best players in the world," Westwood told Sky Sports. "We have got a quality leaderboard up there and hopefully we will put on a bit of a show."

Former Open champion Oosthuizen saw his lead evaporate after 54 holes as he shot a 70 to sit level with Westwood, three strokes clear of Phil Mickelson, who signed for a 66, while Ian Poulter, Bill Haas and Ernie Els are hot on the American's heels on 14-under.

Brandt Snedeker is a shot further back after he fell agonisingly short of becoming the first golfer to shoot a 59 at a World Golf Championship event, narrowly missing his 20-foot putt at the 18th and had to settle for a 12-under par 60.

"I was disappointed not to shoot 59," he admitted. "Because in a career you might only get a couple of chances to do it. When I made eagle at the 15th the idea of shooting 59 came to me but I knew I needed to make birdie at the last three holes.

"I rattled off a couple at 16 and 17 and then played a great shot from a fairway bunker to set up the chance at the last. I hit a good putt but I misread it a little bit. I was disappointed but I knew it had put me back in the tournament."

Luke Donald kept himself within touching distance of the leaders after the former world No.1 endured a mixed bag in his round of 69 to sit on 11-under, one shot behind Ryder Cup team-mate Martin Kaymer.

Justin Rose shot his best round of the week to move to seven-under after his round of 67, while Graeme McDowell (68) appears to be out of touch on two-under.

Meanwhile, it was a day to forget for Dustin Johnson, whose quadruple-bogey nine at the 15th was the low point of a woeful round as the American went signed for a 12-over 84.

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