Westwood climbs on Day 3, still 9 behind McIlroy

Lee Westwood

BETHESDA, Md. – Lee Westwood started the day watching Fredrik Jacobsen make putt after putt, eventually turning at a smooth 4-under 32.

Westwood made the turn at 1 under, then took a page out of Jacobsen’s book on the back nine and shot 5 under 30 including a eagle on the par-5 16th hole to move into a tie for third.

“I drove the ball great,” Westwood said after a third-round 65. “I put myself in position to be able to attack the flags. If you drive the ball well around this golf course, it’s score-able.”

After a bad drive at the 12th hole, Westwood was in the middle of the fairway and knocked down the flag from the 13th to 18th hole, with eight putts in the last six holes.

Some of the credit for the solid putting performance may be from the new putter Westwood put in the bag this week after working with it in Memphis. 

More credit may go to Pete Cowan, Westwood’s swing coach. After an opening-round 75, Westwood sought Cowan to address a reccurring swing fault that crept into his game early in Memphis.

“I didn’t miss a shot,” Westwood said after the tee shot on the 12th. “All the shots went exactly where I was looking.”

Westwood had a chance to become World No. 1 with a win this week at Congressional, which now seems like a dream with Rory McIllroy nine shots up on his fellow Ryder Cup mate, but Westwood still wants to make it interesting.

“I don’t know where I’m going to be at the end of the day, but my mission was to get myself somewhere into the tournament,” Westwood said after his round. “I said maybe if I can get to 10 under at the weekend.  But you don’t know how Rory is going to do.  You don’t know how he’s going to deal with the big lead.  He had a big lead in a major and didn’t deal with it well before.  There’s pressure on him with regards to that. “

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