By Neeraj Gangal
More than 21,000 spectators pour through the gates of Jumeirah Golf Estates on Day 3.
Lee Westwood took a two-shot lead into the final day of the Dubai World Championship and is well positioned in the battle for The Race to Dubai with a five-shot cushion over rival Rory McIlroy, according to the event’s website.
The Englishman’s 32 on the back nine contributed to a six-under 66 on the Earth course at Jumeirah Golf Estates; however, McIlroy’s bogeys on each of the last three holes dropped him to a three-under 69 for the day and 10-under for the tournament.
Ross McGowan, who started the day in second place for the tournament, kept pace with a 66 to finish at 13-under. He will be paired again tomorrow with Westwood, who lies at 15-under.
McGowan, ranked 29th in the Race to Dubai at the start of the tournament, could almost double his season’s winnings with a victory on Sunday.
The other two main contenders for The Race to Dubai, Martin Kaymer and Ross Fisher, each finished the day at two-under, the website revealed. Both admitted their chances to win The Race to Dubai had gone, leaving a two-way fight between McIlroy and Westwood.
Although all eyes on Sunday will be on the battle to be crowned Europe’s number one golfer, Westwood says he has put all thoughts to the back of his mind.
“All I’m concerned about is this tournament, and I’ve said that all week,” Westwood said. “I think I’m proving that that is the way to go about things.
“I’m playing really well. This is I think as good as I feel like I’ve swung it and played almost all year. I played really well in Portugal. I think it’s at least on a par with that, if not a bit better.”
Saturday’s play was watched by 21,430 spectators, taking the overall capacity for three days to more than 43,000, the championship’s website said.
The winners of The Championship will share the US $7.5 million purse; those finishing in the top 15 on The Race to Dubai will split the US $7.5 million bonus pool. Over four days, with no cut, all 60 players will compete for the title in the world’s newest signature sporting event.