Lee Westwood rolled back the years with a brilliant round of 65 to take a one-shot lead into the final round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

The 46-year-old Englishman moved to 14 under to lead the way from Italian Francesco Laporta and Austria's Bernd Wiesberger.


Westwood ended a three-and-half-year wait for a victory when he won the 2018 Nedbank Golf Challenge and cut an emotional figure in South Africa, revealing he had been unsure if he would ever lift another trophy.

Just 14 months later later he is in pole position to claim another of the European Tour's prestigious Rolex Series events and take his total of victories on his home circuit to 25.

"It's always a bonus to be in contention and that's basically why we come out here," Westwood told europeantour.com.

"I'm not going to lie, I didn't play a lot of golf coming into it, didn't know what to expect. To be in the lead with one round to go, it's a real positive.

"I'm just going to go out there and play as well as I can and if it's good enough, then great. I know I'm talented enough to win the tournament, it's just a case of applying myself."

A 10-footer on the third and excellent approach to the fifth put him in a share of the lead before a remarkable second to three feet on the par-five eighth set up an eagle that vaulted him two ahead.

Further birdies followed on the ninth and 12th and while he dropped a shot on the 14th, Westwood hit a stunning approach into the 16th and made the most of the par-five last.

Wiesberger finished with three successive birdies in a blemish-free 65, while overnight leader Laporta had to settle for a 69.

England's Matthew Fitzpatrick also carded a 69 to sit at 12 under, a shot clear of major champion Sergio Garcia and American Kurt Kitayama.