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  • Thailand Golf Championship, Round Three

Schwartzel hunting down Westwood

ESPN staff
December 17, 2011 « Poulter reeled in by on-fire Ogilvy | Chartbeat test »
Some superb touch play helped Charl Schwartzel surge into contention © Getty Images
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Charl Schwartzel breathed life into the Thailand Golf Championship by eroding Lee Westwood's huge lead.

Rounds of 60 and 64 handed Westwood an 11-shot lead at the halfway mark but a stuttering effort of 73 at the Amata Spring Country Club on Saturday saw Schwartzel make major inroards and the latter will begin the final round just four adrift.

Westwood started in far from ideal fashion by carding a double-bogey six at the second and a further bogey at the sixth saw him turn in over par and handed his rivals a sniff.

Masters champion Schwartzel was the man to find the scent and a run of four birdies at two, three, four and five saw him emerge from the pack. His touch around the greens was superb, epitomised by a brilliant sand save at the ninth.

Westwood continued to wobble and a missed par putt on 16 saw Schwartzel, who made a birdie at the same hole, cut the deficit to four shots.

For the first time all week, Westwood found himself under pressure and a fluffed bunker shot on 17 saw him drop a further shot.

Schwartzel's momentum was checked by a bogey at 18, allowing the Brit to sleep on a four-shot lead at 19-under.

Simon Dyson is well placed for a high finish after once again striking the ball beautifully in a round of 68. His 54-hole score of nine-under could have been better as he passed up a couple of presentable chances on the greens.

John Daly, playing alongside Dyson, failed to gain any traction and he dropped back into the pack at six-under following a 72.

Sergio Garcia's run of steady improvement continued with a round of 70, but he remains well back at one-over for the championship, while Darren Clarke fired a 73 to slip back to four-over.

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