Lee Westwood admitted he had been “kicked where it hurts” in the US PGA Championship as Adam Scott and Justin Rose remained in contention for their second major titles of the year.
Westwood, who is Heddon-on-the-Wall course Close House’s attached Tour professional, had seemingly done the hard work by getting through 16 holes in level par for the day and four under overall - despite playing the vast majority of those in heavy rain at Oak Hill.
However, after the rain stopped, the 40-year-old Englishman dropped three shots in his last two holes to card a 73 which left him one under par, six behind Masters champion Adam Scott and five adrift of US Open winner Rose.
Scott added a 68 to his opening 65 and playing partner Rose shot a stunning 66 thanks to a brilliant homeward nine of 29, eclipsing former US Open champion Webb Simpson’s course record-equalling 64.
“I played pretty well,” said Westwood, who is still seeking his first major title at the 63rd attempt after letting a two-shot lead slip going into the final round of the Open at Muirfield last month.
“The course was playing long, the par-four 17th was unreachable, and I was just ticking along before getting kicked where it hurts on the last two holes.”
Rose admitted he had been “hanging on for dear life” after starting on the 10th and dropping shots at his first two holes but, after reaching the turn in 37 the Englishman stormed home in 29 with six birdies – the longest coming from 15ft.
He said: “I sit here relishing the opportunity at the weekend to try and win another major.”
In the Powerade PGA Assistants Championship at Coventry, Hexham’s Philip Waugh signed off with a four-under 69 in the third and final round to pocket a ï¿½750 cheque for eighth place with a nine-under total.
The winner on 16 under was Leicestershire’s Matthew Cort with Surrey’s Jack Harrison, nephew of Matfen Hall coach John Harrison, in second.