Entering Saturday’s third round of the Maybank Malaysian Open with a four-shot lead, Lee Westwood shot 71 as his margin was cut to one while Andy Sullivan shot 66 in Kuala Lumpur.
“I didn’t play as well as I did the first two days, but there were some difficult flags and it was really hot,” Westwood said. “That’s as hot as I’ve been on a golf course for quite some time.
“It was a real grind, but I’m leading going into the last round so I’m quite happy with that.”
A bogey at the 18th cut Westwood’s lead in half and gave him an even-par back nine as he signed for a 71 that has him 14 under par after 54 holes.
A day after hornets stung Pablo Larrazabal, sending him to a lake to escape the swarm, there were no signs of the aggressive insects on the course. Larrazabal shot 70 Saturday to move to T-23 at 4 under.
Sullivan gained ground on Westwood thanks to three straight birdies midway through the front, then scattered three more on the back. Seeking his first European Tour win, Sullivan said he tried to limit his mistakes.
“I felt myself getting a bit tired coming up 15 and 16. I made a couple of sloppy swings but I didn’t drop any shots. I holed a good putt on 16 to keep the momentum going.”
Julien Quesne is 10 under, with Nicolas Colsaerts 9 under and six players T-5 at 8 under.
– European Tour and Associated Press contributed