Westwood’s Wentworth hopes fade

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iol spt may26 Westwood Getty Images Lee Westwood was unable to close the gap on the PGA Championship leaders as his hopes of ending his long wait for victory at Wentworth were shattered.

Wentworth – Lee Westwood was unable to close the gap on the PGA Championship leaders as the Englishman's hopes of ending his long wait for victory at Wentworth were shattered on Saturday.

Westwood is making his 19th appearance at the European Tour's flagship event and he came in with high hopes of lifting the trophy after losing a play-off to Luke Donald last year.

But the 39-year-old's erratic form this week, 18 birdies in three days have been offset by eight bogeys, three doubles and a triple, has left him 11 shots behind overnight leader James Morrison, who has yet to start his third round.

Westwood, who is one under for the tournament after three rounds, only just made the cut on Friday and he needed a superb effort on Saturday to have any chance of setting up a final day charge.

In the event, he fell well short.

“I've just got a destructive one in there. It's a bit of a pull hook and it's my bad shot when I'm not swinging well,” Westwood said.

“I'm a bit tired. I've played a lot this year already.”

He was also hindered by missing three times from inside five feet on greens that are again causing most players a lot of problems.

“Unique,” he said when asked about the greens. “You'd like to see a bit more of a growing season. You're fighting it a bit.”

Although Westwood was disappointed with his 70, it was still among the best rounds of the early starters.

Ian Poulter had the chance to do better when he turned in a three under 32 and after a bogey at the 10th birdied the next two.

Poulter dropped another stroke at the 15th, however, and at three under for the tournament was still only 23rd.

Westwood's birdie-birdie finish was something former British Open champion Ben Curtis could only dream of after he finished triple bogey eight, triple bogey eight.

That gave the American an 81 and 10 over aggregate, while South African James Kingston came home in a 10 over 47 for a round of 85 and 14 over total.

Course re-designer Ernie Els, though, birdied the fourth and sixth and with that moved into a tie for 14th on five under. – Sapa-AFP

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