SHENZHEN, China — Lee Westwood made 11 birdies in a round of 11-under-par 61 on Saturday to grab a share of the lead with Louis Oosthuizen after the third round of the HSBC Champions.
Oosthuizen, the 2010 British Open champion, came into the weekend with a five-stroke lead over the field, but struggled with his putting and had 70.
The South African had a chance to retake the lead with a 15-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole, but missed by inches – the last of many near misses throughout the day.
Westwood and Oosthuizen are at 18-under 198. Phil Mickelson (66) made seven birdies and is three shots back.
Ernie Els briefly surged into a share of the lead on the back nine before dumping his ball into a reservoir on the tricky 15th hole and taking a double bogey. He finished with 69 and was tied for fourth with Bill Haas (66) and Ian Poulter (65) at 202.
Westwood, a former world No. 1, has long been considered one of the most consistent golfers, yet he’s never broken through to win a major, finishing runner-up twice – at the Masters Tournament and British Open in 2010.
He’s also played in more World Golf Championship events than any other golfer (41), but his best result is second place on three occasions, most recently at the HSBC Champions in 2010 when he lost to Francesco Molinari by one stroke.
But as good as Westwood’s score was Saturday, it wasn’t even the low round of the day.
That belonged to Brandt Snedeker, who had a chance at 59, but just missed a birdie putt on the 18th hole and settled for 60 and a 203 total. The 60 was a new course record.
CHAMPIONS TOUR: In Scottsdale, Ariz., Tom Lehman took the lead in the Charles Schwab Cup Championship and moved closer to becoming the first player to win the season points title in back-to-back years.
Lehman birdied the final hole for 8-under-par 62 and a one-stroke lead over Fred Couples in the Champions Tour’s season-ending event. Couples also shot 62, making two eagles.
Lehman entered the week second behind Bernhard Langer in the points competition for a $1 million annuity. Langer was tied for 10th at 6-under after 70.
Jay Haas followed his second-round 60 with 69 to drop two strokes back.
LPGA TOUR: In Shima, Japan, South Korea’s Lee Bo-mee shot 8-under-par 64 to take a four-stroke lead after two rounds of the Mizuno Classic.
Lee, a regular on the Korean Tour, is at 10-under 134.
Rikako Morita, who briefly held the lead after an eagle on the par-5 13th, bogeyed three of the final five holes and was in second after 68.
Angela Stanford shot 71 and is tied at 4-under 140 with Na Yeon Choi, Karine Icher and Ayako Uehara.