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Westwood claims lead at Dubai Desert Classic

updated 10:10 AM EST, Sat February 11, 2012
Lee Westwood has much to smile about after grabbing the lead at the Dubai Desert Classic on Saturday
Lee Westwood has much to smile about after grabbing the lead at the Dubai Desert Classic on Saturday
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • England's Lee Westwood leads by one shot after three rounds of Dubai Desert Classic
  • Overnight leaders Rory McIlroy and Thomas Bjorn slip back after rounds of 72 and 73
  • Tiger Woods six shots off the lead at Pebble Beach Pro-Am event
  • South Korean Charlie Wi leads field by three strokes from America's Dustin Johnson

(CNN) -- Lee Westwood will take a one-stroke lead into the final round of the Dubai Desert Classic after posting a five-under par 67 at the Emirates Golf Club on Saturday.

After closing with three consecutive birdies on Friday, the Englishman started his third round in similar vein, claiming three birdies on the opening four holes.

Two subsequent bogeys (at the sixth and the eighth) slowed his charge, but further birdies at the 10th, 12th and 13th saw Westwood finish on a 15-under par three-round total of 201.

Overnight leaders Rory McIlroy and Thomas Bjorn slipped back into the chasing pack with rounds of 72 and 73 respectively.

McIlroy and Bjorn lead the way

The Northern Irishman is currently two shots off the lead in a tie for fifth with Germany's Martin Kaymer (70), Swede Joel Sjoholm, whose 66 was the lowest score of the day, and Scott Jamieson (70).

Bjorn, who dropped three shots in the closing four holes, is a shot further back on 12-under par in a tie for ninth with American Ben Curtis (67) and George Coetzee (69) from South Africa.

Westwood's closest challengers are Germany's Marcel Siem and Scot Stephen Gallacher. Both men shot rounds of 68 to finish on 14-under par.

"I got my ball-striking to where I feel very comfortable. I just need to make a couple of putts to get on a roll.
Tiger Woods

Spain's Rafael Cabrera-Bello (70) is also tied for second after a birdie at the closing hole.

Meanwhile in California, Tiger Woods remains within striking distance of the lead at the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am after posting a two-under par round of 68 at the Monterey Peninsula course.

The 14-time major winner is currently six-under par and six shots off the pace set by South Korean Charlie Wi at the event played over three courses.

"I got my ball-striking to where I feel very comfortable. I just need to make a couple of putts to get on a roll. Today was just a spot where I didn't hit the ball in the correct spots to give myself these looks," Woods said, PGATour.com reported.

Woods' upturn continues at Pebble Beach

Wi has a three-shot cushion after following up his record-breaking round of 61 (at the Monterey Peninsula course) with a three-under par 69 at Pebble Beach to finish on 12-under par.

The 40-year-old once again threatened to make another low score with five birdies and an eagle, but four dropped shots (two going out and two coming back) checked his progress.

"I took the approach today by telling myself that this is just a new day and whatever happened yesterday that I was going to put it behind me and just start fresh," Wi said, AFP reported.

Joint first-round leader Dustin Johnson posted an even-par round of 72 at Spyglass Hill to claim second place, while Danny Lee, who also shared the lead after day one, is one shot further back tied for third on eight-under par.

The New Zealander in joined by Irishman Padraig Harrington, Fiji's Vijay Singh and American's Brian Gay and Brendon Todd.

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