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Westwood's 61 grabs share of lead

SHENZHEN, China — Lee Westwood made 11 birdies in a round of 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 shot 70.

The South African had a chance to retake the lead with a 15-foot birdie putt on 18 but missed, the last of many near misses for him on the day.

Westwood and Oosthuizen were at 18-under 198. Phil Mickel­son (66) made seven birdies and was three 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 en route to double bogey. He finished with 69 and was tied for fourth with Bill Haas (66) and Ian Poulter (65) at 202.

Westwood has played in more World Golf Championships events than any other golfer (41), but his best result is second on three occasions, most recently at the HSBC Champions in 2010 when he lost to Francesco Molinari by one stroke.

"It does surprise me that I've played more than anyone else. I didn't realize I was that old," the 39-year-old Englishman said.

But as good as his score was Saturday, it wasn't even the low round of the day. That belonged to American Brandt Snedeker, who had a chance at 59 but just missed a birdie putt on 18 and settled for 60 — a new course record — and a 203 total.

Champions: 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 two straight years. Lehman birdied the final hole for 8-under 62 and a total of 17-under 193 for a one-stroke lead over Fred Couples in the tour's season-ending event in Scottsdale, Ariz. Couples also shot 62, making two eagles.

LPGA: South Korea's Lee Bo-mee shot 8-under 64 to take a four-stroke lead at 10-under 134 after the second round of the Mizuno Classic in Shima, Japan. Rikako Morita of Japan was second after shooting 68 in the event, co-sanctioned by the LPGA and Japan LPGA tours

Masters for teen?

BANGKOK — Guan Tianlang of China is one round away from becoming the youngest player to play in the Masters.

The 14-year-old overcame early nerves and a difficult course at Amata Spring, shooting par 72 for a two-shot lead over Oliver Goss of Australia going into the final day of the Asia-Pacific Amateur Champion­ship.

"Everybody looked a little bit nervous to start with, and there was not much talking," said Guan, who is at 14-under 202. "I then started to focus on my own game and felt pretty relaxed on the back nine."

The winner gets an invitation to play in the Masters, along with an exemption to the final stage of qualifying for the British Open. The youngest competitor in Masters history is Matteo Manassero of Italy, who was 16 in 2010.

Goss, a quarterfinalist in the U.S. Amateur and winner last week in the Western Australia Open, shot 69 in tougher conditions. He has a big advantage in distance over the 125-pound Guan. The Australian was impressed with the slender schoolboy, who hits it about 250 yards off the tee.

"Guan did well because the course was playing a lot tougher than the first two days. He doesn't hit it as far as other players, so I think he did really well," Goss said. "I think he's too young to be intimidated."

Westwood's 61 grabs share of lead 11/03/12 [Last modified: Saturday, November 3, 2012 10:13pm]

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