Molinari keeps one-shot lead over Westwood

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, Last Updated: 2:34 PM ET

SHANGHAI, China - Italy's Francesco Molinari fired a five- under 67 Saturday to maintain his one-stroke lead after three rounds of the WGC-HSBC Champions.

Molinari completed 54 holes at 14-under-par 202. He will go for this second European Tour title on Sunday. His lone individual win was at the 2006 Italian Open. He also won the World Cup last year with his brother, Edoardo.

World No. 1 Lee Westwood matched Molinari's 67 to remain one-stroke back at minus-13 at Sheshan International Golf Club.

The 2010 Ryder Cup teammates were paired together in the third round, and will play with another teammate, Luke Donald, in the final round.

Donald carded a four-under 68 to move into third place at 10-under-par 206.

Tiger Woods, who dropped to No. 2 in the world this week behind Westwood, managed a one-over 73 that left him tied for 17th at three-under 213. He was joined there by five others, including Rory McIlory (71) and Ian Poulter (73).

Woods birdied the first, but bogeyed two and three to slip to minus-three. He carded two more birdies and two more bogeys the rest of the way.

Defending champion Phil Mickelson struggled to a four-over 76 to tumble into a share of 34th at even-par 216. He had three bogeys and two birdies through 10 holes, but faltered to three bogeys in a four-hole span from the 12th to slide back to even-par.

Molinari got off to a quick start as he chipped in for birdie on the first, but Westwood followed with a 25-foot birdie putt to remain one back.

The Italian three-putted for bogey on the fourth, but regained his one-shot lead with a long birdie putt on the fifth. The duo both birdied the eighth, Westwood from seven feet and Molinari from three feet.

Molinari pushed his lead to two with a six-foot birdie effort on the 10th. He gave that shot back at the par-three 12th when his tee ball came up short of the green and he was unable to save par from there.

At the 13th, Molinari more than erased that bogey as he holed out from the fairway for eagle to jump to 13-under.

"I had just bogeyed the 12th and I wanted to get some shots back. Thirteen and 14 are two decent chances if you hit the fairway," Molinari said. "I hit it to a good yardage and I hit a very nice shot and had a bit of luck."

Westwood was briefly three back, but he rolled in a six-footer for birdie on 13. The Englishman climbed within one at 15 as he sank a 10-foot birdie putt to get to minus-12.

Molinari posted four straight pars from 14 to 17. At the last, he played his third shot to eight feet and knocked that putt in for a closing birdie.

"It was good. I hit some really good shots and some not so good shots. It wasn't as steady as usual, but I showed today that my short game is improving," Molinari stated. "It was really good to hole that par putt on 16. Finishing with a birdie is really good because it kept me in the lead. One shot ahead is pretty much nothing, but better to be one ahead than one behind."

Westwood missed the 18th green with his second shot, but chipped his third to tap-in range. After Molinari made his birdie, Westwood kicked his in to finish the third round right where he started it, one shot behind Molinari.

"That was probably the best I played all week," Westwood admitted. "I missed a a few chances on the greens, but made couple of nice putts as well. Sixty- seven is a good score and I didn't make a bogey. I can't complain."

Last year's runner-up Ernie Els posted a one-under 71. He shares fourth place with Ross Fisher (69) and Richie Ramsay (71) at eight-under-par 208.

NOTES: Three-time major champion Padraig Harrington holed out for a rare double-eagle on the par-five 14th...Martin Kaymer, the PGA champion, struggled to a two-over 74 to drop into a tie for 27th at one-under-par 215...U.S. Open winner Graeme McDowell (73) shared 44th at plus-two, while British Open champ Louis Oosthuizen, who is battling an ankle injury, stumbled to a his second straight 80 to tumble to 13-over-par 229.


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