Lee Westwood’s Christmas trip is over, however he’s nonetheless feeling fairly comfortable.

Westwood slightly touched a membership since enjoying the Ecu Excursion’s season finale in Dubai ultimate November. He spent the vacations in Thailand and didn’t carry his sticks. When he arrived in Abu Dhabi ultimate Friday, he in any case were given some respectable paintings in with swing trainer Robert Rock.

But the 46-year-old Englishman isn’t appearing any rust. Via 54 holes of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, Westwood leads at 17 beneath after a third-round, 7-under 65 Saturday at Abu Dhabi Golfing Membership.

“I did not hit as many balls as I would like [on Friday], however I have accomplished some demanding paintings right here on Monday and Tuesday and Wednesday, and been running with Rocky and the swing seems like there is a bit extra width into it and I have pushed the ball smartly,” Westwood mentioned. “Placing pretty. Rolling the ball well, and you recognize, now not actually hitting any unhealthy photographs. Now not striking myself beneath any force.”

Westwood sits a shot transparent of Bernd Wiesberger, who additionally fired a third-round 65, and second-round chief Francesco Laporta.

On Saturday, Westwood carded six birdies and an eagle on the par-Five 8th hollow. He virtually had some other eagle at the par-Five completing hollow, his eagle lag operating simply by the outlet, sooner than Westwood needed to convert a difficult hard-breaking birdie putt.

That was once one in every of few irritating moments for the veteran, who has simply 3 bogeys thru 3 rounds thank you largely to a contemporary swing adjustment that he is dialed in since getting back from his seaside trip.

Westwood defined that over time his wrist hinge has turn out to be increasingly pronounced, and that he and Rock have labored on getting the wrists straighter on takeaway.

“While you’ve been doing one thing for 20 years, it is demanding to take it out at the golfing path, however I controlled to take it from the variety to the golfing path,” Westwood mentioned. “Were given somewhat of period again as a result of I were given some width again and so much wider on the peak, and attitude and assault on my iron photographs is healthier.”

After profitable in overdue 2018 in South Africa and some other forged yr in 2019 that integrated a T-Four at The Open, Westwood does not seem to be going away any time quickly.

Complete-field ratings from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Champions

Westwood lately sits at No. 63 within the Legitimate International Golfing Rating, and his points of interest are set to get again throughout the peak 50 in an effort to qualify for each spring WGC occasions. He additionally plans to play the Valero Texas Open the week sooner than teeing it up within the Masters, his first get started at Augusta Nationwide since 2017. Westwood owns six top-10s, together with two runner-up finishes, in 18 profession Masters begins.

Additional down the leaderboard in Abu Dhabi, Matthew Fitzpatrick is solo fourth at 12 beneath whilst Sergio Garcia is some other shot again along Kurt Kitayama. American citizens Patrick Cantlay and Brooks Koepka are 7 beneath and Five beneath, respectively. Koepka bounced again from a second-round 75 to make six birdies and shoot 70.

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