Malaysian Open: Lee Westwood to take one-shot lead into final round in Kuala Lumpur
Lee Westwood will take a slender one-shot lead into the final round of the Maybank Malaysian Open.
Last Updated: 19/04/14 12:01pm
Westwood - who is chasing a 13th win in Asia and the 41st of his career - held a four-shot lead at the halfway stage at Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club and was five ahead of the chasing pack after five holes of the third round.
But the 40-year-old picked up just one further birdie and bogeyed the 18th for a round of 71 to finish 14 under par, one ahead of Sullivan who returned a superb 66.
France's Julien Quesne is four shots off the lead after a 69 containing seven birdies and four bogeys, with Westwood's Ryder Cup team-mate Nicolas Colsaerts another shot back after a 72.
Westwood looked to be in complete control when he birdied the first for the third day running, but the former world number one then missed a short par putt on the second.
At that stage he was just two ahead of playing partner Antonio Lascuna, the 43-year-old from the Philippines having birdied the first and third, but Lascuna then ran up a triple-bogey eight on the fifth as Westwood made birdie to move five shots clear.
Run of pars
Westwood had covered the front nine in 31 on each of the first two days but a run of pars took him out in 35 and allowed Sullivan and fellow Englishman Danny Willett to close the gap.
Sullivan had gone to the turn in 33 and also birdied the par-five 10th, while Willett was also out in 33 thanks to five birdies and two bogeys on the front nine.
A birdie on the 11th, the par three which had cost him a double bogey on Friday when his tee shot found the water guarding the green, took Westwood four clear once more, but Sullivan birdied the 12th and 16th to close within two.
And when Westwood dropped a shot on the last after finding a fairway bunker with his second shot, the destiny of the title was very much back in the balance.
"It was tricky out there," Westwood said afterwards. "I didn't play as well as I did the first two days, but there were some difficult flags and it was really hot.
"That's as hot as I've been on a golf course for quite some time. It was a real grind, but I'm leading going into the last round so I'm quite happy with that."