Westwood in the hunt
Classy Lee makes giant strides up the US Open leaderboard
Last Updated: 17/06/12 4:07am
Westwood: Five birdies to get back to two over
Lee Westwood gave himself another realistic shot at ending his wait for a long overdue major title after a sparkling third-round 67 at the US Open.
The 39-year-old, who would reclaim the world No 1 ranking with a win at the Olympic Club, bounced back from a poor finish to the front nine with an inward 34 - a birdie at the last moving him to two over.
Birdies at five and seven were given back at the next two, but he got back on track as he picked up shots at 10 and 11 before rattling in a 35-footer for a closing three.
"Really pleased, I gave myself a lot of chances," he said. "I had chances on 16 and 17 to make it a spectacular round, but it was nice to hole the putt on 18 to make up for it.
"I hit a lot of fairways, hit a lot of good shots and didn't really struggle at all. Even the two bogeys I made, I had good chances to save par. I played a really sensible, professional round.
"Some of the pins were accessible, but if you get too aggressive you can find yourself in some awkward spots. It's scoreable, but you have to play well.
"Major championships are good fun. I'm delighted to be two over after three rounds, how often do we say that? It's just nice to shoot a good round today and have a chance on Sunday."
But it was not such a good day for Westwood's Ryder Cup team-mate Ian Poulter, who bogeyed three of his first six holes and struggled to a 73 to slip to eight over par.
Debutant Matthew Baldwin got back to level par for the day with three birdies in five holes around the turn, but he bogeyed 15 and ran up an ugly double-bogey seven at the next to return to 11 over.
And Simon Dyson dropped four shots in five holes from the second before he managed to salvage a third-straight 74, but at 12 over he will be playing for pride only on Sunday.