• Open de France, Round Three

Westwood injury scare ahead of Open

ESPN staff
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Lee Westwood slipped walking to the first tee © Getty Images
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Lee Westwood sparked fitness fears ahead of the Open Championship later this month when he picked up an injury on the third day of the Open de France.

The world No. 3 slipped when he was walking to the first tee at Le Golf National, and faces an anxious wait to discover the seriousness of the problem.

"I was talking to Richard Sterne's caddie and not looking where I was going," Westwood told Sky Sports. "I slipped on wooden sleepers down the side of the cart path. My left foot went forward about two feet and my right foot stayed where it was.

"It left like I strained something at the top of my right leg and tweaked my right knee as well. I didn't really have much confidence in it and as the round went on I just kept stretching my groin out. It seems to have eased off, but I am still a little bit wary of it.

"I felt if it stopped it might make it worse by seizing up, so I thought it was better to keep it moving. I didn't try to overdo it over the first few holes, but lost everything to the right - I couldn't put any weight on it.

"I don't know what I've done to it. Hopefully I've just tweaked it and not done anything more serious than that."

Westwood (six over) made an awful start after losing his footing, playing the first six holes in seven over, but recovered to navigate the next 12 in two under. He signed for a five-over 76, his worst score in Europe for over three years.

England's David Howell, the world No. 350, holds the joint lead at the tournament going into the final round after a 67 shifted him to six under. Anders Hansen looked set to finish his round at the head of the field, only for bogeys at 16 and 17 to leave him level with Howell. George Coetzee is third at five under, one stroke in front of Raphael Jacquelin and Marcel Siem.

Elsewhere, Ian Poulter hit his second 69 - three birdies, one bogey - in as many days to slide to three under. Graeme McDowell and Justin Rose are two shots worse off; McDowell had just hit a putt on the 18th when the hooter went off to herald a brief suspension due to the threat of lightning - much to his delight, the putt travelled in, meaning he was done for the day.

Martin Kaymer (ten over) and Peter Hanson (eight over), both Ryder Cup players in 2010, had a 78 and 76 respectively.

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