World number two Lee Westwood opened up a five-shot lead at the Indonesian Masters on Saturday, shooting a superb six-under-par 66 in his third round. The Englishman bogeyed the last hole but was still 16 under par on 200, putting himself in an excellent position to mark his 38th birthday with a victory at the Royale Jakarta Golf Club. Westwood was the world number one for 17 weeks before being replaced by Martin Kaymer of Germany in February and could regain the top spot if he wins on Sunday and Luke Donald does not in the United States.
The Englishman, who had to complete the last two holes of his second round early Saturday morning, has won more than 30 titles in his career and said: “I’ve been in this position before and I’ll try not to get ahead of myself.” He said he was focusing on taking the title in Jakarta, rather than thinking about the consequences. “I’m here to win a tournament. World rankings seem to take care of themselves,” said Westwood, Europe’s number one in 2000 and 2009.
Reverting to the conventional putter from the belly putter worked wonders for him on the course as he shot sets of three birdies in a row, from the first and ninth holes. “It feels much better using the conventional putter because every decent putt seems to go in and that made me more comfortable,” he said. Asian Tour rookie Park Hyun-bin of South Korea fired a 70 to share second place with Thitiphun Chuayprakong of Thailand (69) on a 205 total at the $750,000 event, which is being held for the first time.