Lee Westwood takes a two shot lead into the final round of The Open at Muirfield tomorrow, and says he knows what it will take to capture his first ever major title.
The 40-year-old from Worksop showcased his newfound confidence on the greens for the third day running and gave the thousands in the galleries plenty to cheer about as he carded a one under par round of 70.
That took him to three under for the tournament, and he’ll tee off at 2.10pm tomorrow alongside American Hunter Mahan, who is one under par.
Tiger Woods at one under and Adam Scott at level par could be the main threats to Westwood’s chances of landing the elusive major, in this his 62nd attempt.
But according to the Worksop Golf Club export, he’s not feeling the pressure and he’ll enjoy visualising himself with the Claret Jug before refocusing to try and capture it.
“I’ll think about winning The Open Championship tonight at some stage, I don’t see anything wrong with that, picture yourself holding the Claret Jug at the final tee.”
“When it comes time to tee off I should be in the same frame of mind as I was today. I didn’t feel any pressure today and felt nice and calm out there and in control of what I was doing.”
A highlight reel third round began with pars at the first two holes, before Westwood dropped a shot at the third.
At the fifth he holed a mammoth eagle putt from off the green, after two perfect drives, and it got even better on the seven as he took a three shot lead with a birdie.
Consecutive bogeys followed, but Westwood steadied himself with four pars in a row on the back nine and then an incredible approach shot at 14 led to a birdie.
Things could have gone badly wrong at the par three 16th when he found a horrible lie in thick rough at the side of the green, but despite a duffed second effort he recovered to hole a 15 foot putt and dropped just one shot.
At 17 he hit straight back with another birdie and gave himself a two shot cushion over the rest of the field, a lead that he would maintain with a solid par at the last hole.
Westwood admitted his bogey at 16 had been a key moment.
“That was probably the biggest momentum thing I did all day. There’s so many bad things that could have happened from there. I was pleased to make four. That’s what’s been missing, making those putts.”
Looking ahead to what could be the biggest day of his golfing career, Westwood insisted he knows what do to do win, despite the lack of majors on his record thus far.
“I’ve had lots of chances, sometimes I’ve played well, other times I’ve not played too well,” he said.
“I know what it takes to win one. It’s just a case of going out there tomorrow and having the confidence in my game, which I’ve got. And putting it to the test.”