Saturday, March 2, 2013
'Local' Lee Westwood in Honda Classic hunt
PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. -- The idea of Lee Westwood as a local is taking some getting used to. The Englishman recently moved to the area and has a home at Old Palm.
"When I walk on 17 and they say I'm from Palm Beach Gardens, a bigger cheer goes up than when it's from Worksop [England], for sure," Westwood quipped. "I've got support in the States as it is, but probably even more so now that I've moved here."
Westwood, 39, is 2 shots behind leaders Luke Guthrie and Michael Thompson. For all of his worldwide success -- Westwood is ranked ninth in the world with 35 international victories -- he has just two PGA Tour titles, the last coming at the 2010 St. Jude Classic.
Thompson is an unlikely third-round leader this week. A runner-up at last year's U.S. Open, Thompson, 27, came into the Honda Classic having missed four cuts in five starts, with his only 72-hole finish a tie for 78th at the Farmers Insurance Open.
Tiger Woods' gained 1 stroke on the lead with a third-round 70 and could have gotten closer had he not played the back nine in 3 over.
He is 8 strokes back, in a tie for 32nd. He will tee off at 11:05 a.m. ET on Sunday along with Robert Streb. Compared to last year, he is a stroke closer to the lead but will have more people to pass.
Last year, Woods was tied for 18th, shot a final-round 62 and ended up finishing 2 strokes behind winner Rory McIlroy in a tie for second. It was his low round of the year.
How tough was PGA National on Saturday? During the first round, there were six bogey-free rounds. On Friday, there were seven.
On Saturday, just one, from Y.E. Yang, who shot the day's lowest score, a 67. Only eight players shot in the 60s, and more of the same blustery, cool weather is promised for Sunday.