Skip to main content
Part of complete coverage on

Canizares the surprise leader at Wentworth

updated 2:20 PM EDT, Sat May 25, 2013
Alejandro Canizares is bidding to win his second title on the European Tour and first since 2006.
Alejandro Canizares is bidding to win his second title on the European Tour and first since 2006.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Alejandro Canizares leads the PGA Championship heading into the final day
  • Canizares cards a four-under 68 Saturday to lead Lee Westwood by one shot
  • Matteo Manassero trails Canizares by two shots at the European Tour's flagship event
  • Sergio Garcia, who considered skipping Wentworth, remains in contention

(CNN) -- With Rory McIlroy, the world's second-ranked golfer, and defending champion Luke Donald not surviving the cut at the PGA Championship, the door was opened for others at the European Tour's flagship event.

Spain's Alejandro Canizares took advantage, leading at Wentworth in England heading into the final day after registering a four-under 68 to move to nine-under 207 overall.

Canizares, whose lone European Tour title came in Russia seven years ago, was forced to skip this month's China Open after being diagnosed with viral meningitis.

"I'm not at full strength but it's working for me, so I'm not going to complain," said Canizares, the son of Ryder Cup veteran Jose Maria Canizares.

Read: McIlroy, Donald falter

Matteo Manassero of Italy, at 20 bidding to become the youngest winner of the event, and Scotland's Marc Warren sit tied for third at seven-under, a shot better than Ireland's Shane Lowry.

But it's the player in second, England's Lee Westwood, who might fancy his chances Sunday.

Florida welcomes two new resorts
The toughest shot in golf?
The return of golf's 'Mechanic'

Westwood, twice a runner-up at Wentworth, a Ryder Cup stalwart and the only member of the top five inside the top 50 in the world rankings, is a single shot behind Canizares.

Westwood, who recorded a 67 in the third round, said it would be "ironic" if he won the title months after moving his family from England to Florida.

Although not matching the weather in Florida, Saturday's conditions were significantly better than chilly Thursday and Friday.

"It would be great and I am after as many wins as I can get, but it's a crowded leaderboard and I will have to play as well, if not better than I did today," Westwood said. "I felt much more in tune with my swing and had a lot better distance and direction control with my irons and set up a lot of chances.

"It was one of the most fun days I have ever had on a golf course. It was good to see a lot more smiling faces and a lot more people prepared to take their hands out of their pockets and applaud.

"I also get great support here but even more so today."

Another golfer that praised the spectators was Spain's Sergio Garcia.

Garcia came under fire this week and issued an apology for his "fried chicken" jibe. He considered pulling out of the tournament. But Garcia played, made the cut and remains in contention, tied for sixth at five-under.

"The crowds here, I don't have words to explain what I feel towards them," Garcia, last a winner on the European Tour in 2011, said. "They have been amazing, every single tee, every single green, cheering me on, and I can never pay them back."

Read: Sponsor not pleased with Garcia

Also tied for sixth is the halfway leader, Italian Francesco Molinari, who slumped to a 73 in the third round. Popular Spaniard Miguel Angel Jimenez, the oldest man in the event at 49, registered a 67 to rise to a tie for 14th at four-under.

British Open champion Ernie Els, undone by bogeys on the first and third holes, could only manage a par 72 and fell six shots behind the leader.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 8:18 AM EDT, Wed July 9, 2014
The next generation of golfers just keeps on getting younger. "They have the confidence to perform against their idols," says one ex-prodigy.
updated 7:59 AM EDT, Tue July 1, 2014
He was Spain's ultimate matador and golf's greatest escape artist.
updated 11:36 AM EDT, Wed June 18, 2014
Rory McIlroy has announced he wants to represent Ireland at the Rio Olympics in 2016.
Two-time major champion Rory McIlroy declares he'll represent Ireland at the Rio Olympics, not Great Britain.
updated 10:48 PM EDT, Mon April 28, 2014
Already admired by Annika Sorenstam and with a bucketful of talent, New Zealand's Lydia Ko has the world of golf at her feet.
updated 7:30 AM EDT, Mon April 28, 2014
Mike O'Connor, UK FootGolf
Like footie? Partial to a bit of golf? Then you'll love FootGolf. The sport's growing fan base includes a host of former English Premier League stars.
updated 9:43 AM EDT, Thu April 24, 2014
Golfers at at Barkway Park don't seem to concerned and have been taking pictures and videos of the bird when it appears on the greens and fairways.
A runaway ostrich-like bird hiding near an English golf course has caused quite a stir. Some say it's dangerous, while others are cashing in.
updated 8:38 AM EDT, Tue April 22, 2014
Eagles may be thin on the ground for most golfers at the Bear Trace course at Harrison Bay. But up in the treetops, it's a different matter.
updated 1:54 PM EDT, Fri April 18, 2014
When someone tells you to go jump in a lake, sometimes it's best to take their advice. "I've never been so scared," says golfer Pablo Larrazabal.
Bubba Watson is the Masters king, but can he win a major away from Augusta? Living Golf's Shane O'Donoghue has the lowdown.
updated 10:12 AM EDT, Tue April 15, 2014
Arnold Palmer
Arnold Palmer won his first major at Augusta, played there with the U.S. President and made a record 50 consecutive Masters appearances.
updated 8:02 AM EDT, Thu April 10, 2014
He is remembered for designing one of the world's most famous golf courses, but the man behind Augusta died pleading to be paid.
updated 6:04 AM EDT, Thu April 10, 2014
Take a trip around Augusta. From Eisenhower's toppled tree to the fiendishly-difficult Amen Corner, the Masters' home venue has it all.
ADVERTISEMENT