Westwood and McIlroy blocking Donaldson's path to victory
By Norman Dabell
CRANS-MONTANA, Switzerland (Reuters) - Jamie Donaldson will take a slender one-shot lead into Sunday's European Masters final round knowing he has to beat two of the world's best to clinch his maiden title.
A third round six-under 65 on Saturday hauled the 35-year-old Briton to 14-under-par 199, a stroke better than Lee Westwood and two shots better than Rory McIlroy.
Donaldson will play alongside world number two Westwood and U.S. Open champion McIlroy, ranked six, as he bids to claim a victory after numerous chances since joining the tour 10 years ago.
"I'm going to be the underdog," Donaldson admitted to reporters after four birdies in the last six holes edged him to the summit in the Alps.
"I'm playing with two of the greatest players in the world at the moment. It's awesome but I know them both well so I won't let that pressurize me."
Westwood had plenty on his mind but produced his best performance of the week by far, a run of four birdies to the turn carrying him up the leaderboard with a 64.
"I've got a really bad head-cold that affects my balance when putting," said Westwood, "but it didn't seem to stop me playing the best I have all week.
"I've finally got rid of the rust of only playing six holes of golf coming here, in two weeks."
McIlroy looked as though he would be at least level with Donaldson but bogeyed the 16th and 17th holes for a 67.
The Northern Irishman plundered another eagle-two to lead the field early on, this time sinking a 50-foot putt from off the green at the seventh.
"I feel as though I should be leading by quite a bit," the 2008 runner-up in the event said. "I have a 61 or 62 in me the way I'm playing."
Last week's Gleneagles winner Thomas Bjorn and Briton Gary Boyd are in fourth place on 11-under. McIlroy's world rankings rival Martin Kaymer is a further stroke back after another unfulfilling day.
Both can go to world number three with victory and 2010 U.S. PGA champion and former world number one Kaymer said he hoped Sunday would be his day.
"I eagled the first and then just nothing went right," Kaymer said. "If I am going to win I've got to play the easy fifth, sixth and seventh holes like Rory. He's six-under for them and I'm only level-par."
(Editing by Martyn Herman)