Westwood, Snedeker fire in China

Saturday, 3 November 2012
Lee Westwood
Lee Westwood

Lee Westwood and Louis Oosthuizen lead the WGC-HSBC Champions in China, as Brandt Snedeker came within inches of a magical 59 on Saturday.

England's Westwood bolted into a share of the lead with a 61 in his third round at Mission Hills, but it was Snedeker who nearly stole the show at the 18th.

After a run of 10 birdies and an eagle had put him at 12 under through 17 holes, the American saw his 15-foot putt for birdie at the last drift agonisingly by the hole, forcing him to settle for a 60.

If Snedeker's putt had dropped he would have joined an elite group of five players, including David Duval, to have scored 59 in an official PGA Tour round.

He had six birdies on the front nine and mixed an eagle with four more after the turn to move within five shots of the lead at 13 under.

Snedeker was the first off the tee on Saturday before Westwood almost matched his round to join overnight leader Oosthuizen at the top of the standings on 18 under.

Westwood carded 11 birdies to storm into the lead while Oosthuizen shot a two-under 70.

American Phil Mickelson (66) is in outright second at 15 under from trio Ian Poulter (65), Bill Haas (66) and Ernie Els (69), who are all at 14 under overall.

Joint-leader after round one, Australian Adam Scott, slipped back the field with a one-under round to be six shots off the pace.

Countryman Marc Leishman carded a 65 to move into contention at 10 under while Greg Chalmers is at six under.