STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN - JUNE 08: Lee Westwood of England aknowledges the crowd on the 18th green during the third round of the Nordea Scandinavian Masters at Bro Hof Slott Golf Club on June 8, 2012 in Stockholm, Sweden. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

World number three Lee Westwood responded to a challenge from a fast-chasing Ross Fisher to maintain a three-shot lead at the Scandinavian Masters in Stockholm on Friday.

Westwood, who seized control with a sizzling eight-under 64 on Thursday, was again in a free-scoring mood in good conditions as he collected five birdies on the way to a four-under 68 and a three-round tally of 200, 16 under.

Fellow Briton and European Ryder Cup team mate Fisher is in second place on 203 after compiling a 65.

Fisher did not drop a shot to par and picked up seven birdies including three in a row from the 12th.

“I played really nicely and I'm gradually getting better,” said Fisher who has been in the doldrums since the 2010 Ryder Cup in Wales.

“I've gone head to head with Westy a couple of times. He's a world-class golfer and that's how we judge our game - against the best players,” he told reporters.

Another Ryder Cup player, Sweden's Peter Hanson, was third on 204 after a 69, one ahead of Britain's Richard Bland (68).– Reuters