European PGA Tour

Westwood cards a tough 70 to lead Open by 2

East Lothian, Scotland (Sports Network) - Lee Westwood has again put himself in position to win his first major championship.

Westwood carded a tough 1-under 70 in Saturday's third round at the British Open to end 54 holes at 3-under-par 210.

The Englishman has twice finished runner-up in majors and five times he has finished third. In 2010, he finished second at the Masters and British Open. That year at the Masters, he held the 54-hole lead, but was beat by Phil Mickelson.

"I know what to expect tomorrow. I know what to do, I know what it takes," said Westwood. "It's just a case of believing you are good enough to win. When you analyze it, you don't want to say it, but tomorrow is just another 18 holes. I'm playing well and putting well and there's no reason why I can't carry on."

Hunter Mahan, another player looking for his first major championship title, carded an impressive 3-under 68 to grab a piece of second place at minus-1.

Three-time Open champion Tiger Woods managed two birdies versus three bogeys in a round of 1-over 72 at Muirfield. He joined Mahan at 1-under-par 212.

Masters champion Adam Scott shot 1-under 70 to end 54 holes alone in fourth at even-par 213

Former Masters champions Angel Cabrera and Zach Johnson both shot 73s on Saturday to dip into a share of fifth at plus-1. They were joined there by Ryan Moore, who carded a 72 and Henrik Stenson, who bogeyed the last for a 74.

Phil Mickelson (72) and Francesco Molinari (72) are tied for ninth at 2-over- par 215.

Woods grabbed the lead with a 25-foot birdie putt at the second and Westwood fell two back as he stumbled to a bogey at the third. Woods found a bunker off the tee at the par-3 fourth and that led to a bogey, which dropped him into a share of the lead with Jimenez and Stenson. Stenson was in the last group with Jimenez and dropped back with bogeys at four and six.

Jimenez bogeyed four of the first eight holes to slide from contention.

The Spaniard tried to come back with birdies at nine and 13, but he dropped four shots in the next four holes to tumble six off the lead.

Westwood poured in the first of several clutch putts at the fifth. His second to the par-5 stopped just short of the green, but he ran in the eagle effort to jump to minus-3.

Woods failed to respond as he missed a 6-foot birdie try at five. Westwood's lead jumped to three at the seventh, where he rolled in a 4-footer for birdie and Woods 2-putted for bogey after knocking his tee shot over the green.

Westwood 3-putted for bogey at the eighth, then scrambled to another bogey on the ninth. His lead was gone as Woods dropped in a 6-foot birdie chance on the ninth.

Around the turn, Woods remained at 2-under with seven consecutive pars from the 10th. Westwood parred the first four himself, then kicked in a short birdie try at 14 to move one clear at minus-3.

Westwood rolled in a 15-footer to save bogey at 16. That dropped him into a share of the lead with Woods, but that changed at the 17th.

"I got away with another four and I would have taken that when I saw the lie in the rough," admitted Westwood.

At the par-5 17th, Westwood played his third to 12 feet. Woods found the fairway off the tee, then dumped his approach in a bunker. After blasting out, he played his fourth to 14 feet.

Woods 2-putted for bogey, while Westwood poured in his birdie try to move two clear of the field.

That is how they ended as both parred the last.

"I'm pleased where I'm at, I'm only two back and there's only one guy ahead of me. We'll see what they do tomorrow," said Woods. "We'll watch the early broadcast like we do every day. I noticed today, everyone was leaving putts short, and guys were trying to make adjustments."

Mahan was five back to start the day, but opened with birdies at one and two to get to even-par for the championship. After making birdie the first two days at the fourth, he tripped to a bogey there in round three.

The two-time World Golf Championship winner birdied the ninth to make the turn at even-par. Mahan stumbled to a bogey on the 13th, but closed with birdies at 15 and 17 to be the first player in the clubhouse in red figures for the championship.

"Obviously, the course is difficult. I don't know how many guys are under par, so any score in the red is really good," Mahan stated. "I played really solid tee to green, just two bogeys and hit a lot of quality shots. It was a total team effort by my game today."

NOTES: Westwood owns the 54-hole lead for the 27th time in his career on the European and PGA Tours ... He went on to win 11 of the previous 26, but the one time he led after 54 holes in a major, he lost to Mickelson at the 2010 Masters ... Woods has never come from behind to win a major ... Defending champion Ernie Els posted a 1-under 70 on Saturday to end three rounds tied for 19th at 5-over 218 ... Six of the last seven major champions have come from at least three strokes off the lead in the final round.

07/20 15:52:14 ET