Westwood leads Malaysian Open by 1

04/18/2014 10:30 AM

04/19/2014 7:13 AM

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (SportsNetwork.com) - Lee Westwood carded a 1-under 71 on Saturday to remain on top of the leaderboard of the Maybank Malaysian Open.

Westwood, who is seeking his 23rd victory on the European Tour but first since the 2012 Nordea Masters, finished three rounds at Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club at 14-under-par 202.

"It was tricky out there," said Westwood. "I didn't play as well as I did the first two days, but there were some difficult flags and it was really hot."

Andy Sullivan fired a 6-under 66 to jump into second place at 13-under 203, while Julien Quesne (69) sat in third at minus-10 and Nicolas Colsaerts (72) owned fourth at 9-under.

Danny Willett (72), Masahiro Kawamura (70), Eduardo De la Riva (71), Ricardo Santos (70), Garth Mulroy (69) and Rikard Karlberg (67) shared fifth at 8- under 208.

Westwood has held the lead since the end of the first round and entered Saturday with a four-shot advantage.

The Englishman opened his third round with a 20-foot birdie putt at the first, but gave that shot right back at the second. He later rolled in a birdie at the fifth to move to 14-under and held a three-stroke lead at the turn.

Westwood converted an 18-foot birdie at the 11th to stretch his lead to four strokes before Sullivan made a run at the lead.

Sullivan started his race up the leaderboard with a string of birdies at the third, fifth, sixth and eighth around a bogey at the seventh, moving him to 10-under.

He closed his round with birdies at the 10th, 12th and 16th pull within two of Westwood.

"I played well again and tried to limit my mistakes," Sullivan said. "I only made one mistake, but I got it back straight away. I'm delighted with the way I finished."

Westwood, meanwhile, parred six straight from the 12th to remain at 15-under before a finding a bunker with his second shot at the 18th en route to a closing bogey, which dropped his lead to just one entering the final round.

"It was a real grind, but I'm leading going into the last round so I'm quite happy with that," stated Westwood.

NOTES: Westwood won this event in 1997 when it was a part of the co- sanctioning Asian Tour ... Sullivan is looking for his first career win on the European Tour. He has finished inside the top five in two of his last four starts ... Defending champion Kiradech Aphibarnrat withdrew prior to the start of the third round.

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