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WGC-HSBC Champions: Lee Westwood shoots 61, joins Louis Oosthuizen in lead at Mission Hills

By Paul Higham Twitter: @SkySportsPaulH.   Last Updated: 03/11/12 11:48pm

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Lee Westwood shot a brilliant 61, but still only the second-best round of the day, to join Louis Oosthuizen at the top of the leaderboard at the WGC-HSBC Champions at Mission Hills.

Westwood enjoyed a flawless round with 11 birdies, including four on the bounce from holes 14 to 17, to move to the top of the leaderboard on 18-under par after three rounds in China.

Third round leaders:

US unless stated:
-18 L Oosthuizen (SA)
-18 L Westwood (Eng)
-15 P Mickelson
- 14 I Poulter (Eng)
- 14 B Hass
-14 E Els (Rsa)
-13 B Snedeker
Click here for collated scores.

Oosthuizen also played well but unlike Friday his putter was not working as he'd like and several missed putts - including a makeable birdie effort on the 18th - saw him settle for a two-under round of 70.

That still retained a share of the lead for Oosthuizen though and he will play in the final group on Sunday alongside Westwood and Phil Mickelson.

The American left-hander sits in third place on his own after a birdie three on the last saw him sign for a six-under round of 66 and on 15-under he is just three shots off the leaders as he looks for a third win in the tournament.

Oosthuizen and the other overnight leaders struggled to match the low-scoring exploits of others down the field such as Westwood and Brandt Snedeker - who agonisingly missed a putt on the 18th green for a 59 but his 60 still rocketed him up the field into seventh.

Adam Scott was just one-under while Ernie Els was flying along without a dropped shot all tournament until his 15th hole on Saturday, when he carded a double bogey and quickly followed it with a bogey on the very next hole.

Two closing pars saw the Open champion finish with a three-under round of 69 but at tied fourth and just four shots behind Els is still in great shape.

Ian Poulter did a Rory McIlroy as he Tweeted that he had a shortened warm-up when he woke up a bit too close to his tee-time for comfort, but he responded as McIlroy did at the Ryder Cup with a 65 putting him in that tie for fourth on 14-under.

American Bill Haas is the other man in fourth after he matched Mickelson's 66 with three birdies in his last four holes, while India's Gaganjeet Bhullar is only six shots back on 12-under after a superb nine-under round of 63.

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WGC-HSBC Champions 2012

Ian Poulter poses with Tour chiefs George O'Grady (L) and Tim Finchem (R) after his triumph in China

Status boost for HSBC event

The WGC-HSBC Champions event in China will become part of the PGA Tour's FedEx Cup schedule from next season.

Ian Poulter: carded a second successive 65 on the  Olazabal Course

Poulter takes Shenzhen title

Ian Poulter produced a second successive round of 65 to clinch the WGC HSBC Champions by two shots in Shenzhen.

Louis Oosthuizen: Frustrated with putting on Saturday

Lost lead frustrates Louis

Joint leaders Lee Westwood and Louis Oosthuizen had contrasting feelings after the third round at Mission Hills.

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