BMW PGA Championship: Alejandro Canizares leads from Lee Westwood
Last Updated: 26/05/13 11:14am
Alejandro Canizares: strong finish took him one shot clear
Spain's Alejandro Canizares birdied the final two holes for a third-round 68 and a one-shot lead in the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth.
Canizares will play in the final group alongside Lee Westwood on Sunday, as he seeks a second European Tour title in his first event since pulling out of the Volvo China Open at the start of the month after being diagnosed with viral meningitis.
Italian Matteo Manassero and Scotland's Marc Warren share third place, two shots off the lead on seven under.
Westwood admits it will be ironic if his first victory since moving to Florida comes in England, where the world No 12 could win his maiden PGA Championship at the 20th attempt.
"I'm still far from holding the trophy but it would be ironic," said Westwood, who shot a third-round 67 and has credited the vast improvement in his short game to moving to the United States in December last year.
Third round leaderboard
GB & Ire unless stated
-9 A Canizares (Spn)
-8 L Westwood
-7 M Manassero (Ita)
-7 M Warren
-6 S Lowry
"It would be great and I am after as many wins as I can get, but it's a crowded leaderboard and I will have to play as well if not better than I did today.
"I felt much more in tune with my swing and had a lot better distance and direction control with my irons and set up a lot of chances. It was one of the most fun days I have ever had on a golf course.
"It was good to see a lot more smiling faces and a lot more people prepared to take their hands out of their pockets and applaud. I also get great support here but even more so today."
Westwood has finished twice in this event before - to Colin Montgomerie in 2000 and in a play-off with Luke Donald in 2011 - but also won the World Match Play Championship at Wentworth in 2000.
Asked if a win on Sunday would be the biggest of his career, the 40-year-old added: "It would be right up there, probably in the top three. Dubai (in 2009) was probably the biggest because that was to win the money list as well, while in 1997 I went down to Australia and beat Greg Norman for the Australian Open in a play-off and I rate that highly."
Spain's Sergio Garcia will start the final round four shots off the pace as he bids to end a trying week on a high.
Garcia made a bogey on the first, but the 33-year-old birdied the fourth, fifth and ninth to be out in 33.
Further birdies followed at the 12th and 13th and after a three-putt bogey on the 14th, the Ryder Cup star finished with a birdie on the 18th.
"I hit a terrible shot on the first after a great tee shot, but other than that I hit a lot of good shots," said Garcia, who had not played in the European Tour's flagship event since 2000.
"I didn't really putt that well. I'm struggling a little with the pace of the greens and missed a couple of short putts today.
"I think it's been a tough week but we've been getting better every day, so hopefully we can finish on a high note tomorrow.
"There's no doubt that everybody has made it so much easier for me. The crowds here, I don't have words to explain what I feel towards them. They have been amazing, every single tee, every single green, cheering me on. I can never pay them back."