Westwood forced to play 32 holes in a day to defend crown


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The Independent Online

England's Lee Westwood successfully defended his Indonesian Masters title after completing 32 holes yesterday at the Royale Jakarta Golf Club.

The Worksop-born world No 3 returned to complete his third round before closing with a two-over-par 74 for a winning total of 16-under 272 in the weather-hit tournament.

Thailand's Thaworn Wiratchant finished two strokes adrift after carding 67 while the Indian duo of Gaganjeet Bhullar and Shiv Kapur shared third place a further two shots behind.

"Today was hard. It is never easy playing in these conditions and I had to play 32 holes," said Westwood who went into the final round with an eight-shot lead. "It was draining out there and I was really feeling it on the back nine. When you are in contention and under pressure, it seems to zap your energy faster.

"You never know how to play with such a big lead. You don't know if you should attack or defend. It is quite hard to get your mental attitude around it.

"Hopefully this will kick-start my year. I've played well without any wins so hopefully I can go on and win other tournaments," added Westwood, who finished tied for third at the US Masters earlier this month.

Meanwhile, South African Branden Grace lifted the China Open yesterday after a closing three-under-par 69, and became only the second European Tour player to win three titles in the season after coming through the qualifying school.

The 23-year-old finished 21-under to win the $3m (£1.9m) event by three shots from defending champion Nicolas Colsaerts of Belgium. "I thought my first win was around the corner [this season]. To have three before May is unbelievable, but I've been playing well so I've been feeling like I can win," Grace said.

Grace not only matched the three titles Johan Edfors of Sweden won in 2006 after coming through qualifying school but also became only the third South African – after Ernie Els and Retief Goosen – to win three times in a season. Only two players – Seve Ballesteros (1977) and Sandy Lyle (1979) – have won three European Tour titles in a single season at a younger age.

England's Richard Finch finished one shot behind after a final round of 66, while fellow Briton Ian Poulter finished 10-under after an identical card.