Westwood shares lead as Molinari is disqualified

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The Independent Online

Lee Westwood moved into a share of the lead in the Irish Open yesterday with a gritty 66 after overnight leader Francesco Molinari was disqualified for signing for the wrong score.

Westwood, who chose to miss last week's Players Championship in America to help his preparation for next week's PGA Championship at Wentworth, fired eight birdies and two bogeys as the weather conditions worsened in County Louth. He shared the lead with fellow Englishman Oliver Wilson (68), Dane Soren Kjeldsen (67) and Johan Edfors, of Sweden (70).

Westwood, a former European No1, said he had missed the big PGA Tour event at Sawgrass last week to help his game ahead of the European Tour's flagship event. "Next week is obviously our biggest tournament on our Tour, our equivalent of the Players Championship, and going last week would have messed up my preparation for our PGA," he said. "If you're a member of the PGA Tour it's big for those guys over there but I'm not a member over there, I'm not American I'm a European, and other tournaments hold bigger precedence for me."

Molinari had a four-putt double-bogey on the 12th but signed for a par four. He then signed for the double-bogey on the 13th which he had parred. Briton Michael Hoey was also disqualified for having one too many clubs in his bag.