Westwood leads by six

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The Independent Online

Lee Westwood will take a six-shot lead into the final round of the £1m Scandinavian Masters in Stockholm today. The 27-year-old Englishman was not at his best in yesterday's third round at Kungsangen, but he did not need to be as he tripled his overnight cushion and tightened his grip on the £164,000 first prize.

Lee Westwood will take a six-shot lead into the final round of the £1m Scandinavian Masters in Stockholm today. The 27-year-old Englishman was not at his best in yesterday's third round at Kungsangen, but he did not need to be as he tripled his overnight cushion and tightened his grip on the £164,000 first prize.

Westwood added a 69 to previous rounds of 63 and 67 for a 14-under-par total of 199 and is on course to claim his fourth European Tour title of the season and the 22nd tournament win of his career.

Holland's Maarten Lafeber is alone in second place on eight under after a 72 while five players are tied for third a shot further back, including New Zealand's Michael Campbell who fired a best-of-the-day 66.

The expected challenge from Darren Clarke failed to materialise. The 31-year-old Ulsterman needed a birdie at the last for a 74 and is 10 shots adrift of Westwood alongside the defending champion Colin Montgomerie and local favourite Jesper Parnevik.

"I played okay again, did nothing special but didn't make any silly mistakes," said Westwood. "I hit a couple of poor shots but I was very pleased with my short game, it kept my score going. It's a great feeling to know if I miss a green that the short game is pretty sharp and I'm generally not going to make many mistakes. There is still a long way to go but I fancy my chances with a six-shot lead. I just have to play solidly and win. It doesn't matter by how many, the win is the important thing. If I keep playing this way I'll be hard to beat. The longest putt I holed all day today was from seven feet."

For a while it seemed that Westwood would not enjoy an easy ride as 26-year-old Lafeber closed to within one shot after an outward half of 34. But over the more difficult back nine Westwood held his game together better, although it was not easy - he had to get up and down at the 12th after a badly miscued tee shot and repeated the trick from a greenside bunker on the next. Birdies at the 295-yard 15th, where he drove the green, and the long 17th then took Westwood well clear as Lafeber faded.

A repeat of his 1996 win in this event would almost certainly lift Westwood to the top of Europe's order of merit.

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