GULLANE, Scotland — Lee Westwood passed his first big test Saturday when he outplayed Tiger Woods and grabbed a two-shot lead in the British Open.
The next one figures to be the toughest test of all.
Westwood somehow salvaged a bogey from the knee-high grass on the 16th, pulled ahead of Woods with a birdie on the 17th and was solid down the last hole for a 1-under 70 that gave him a two-shot lead going into the final day at Muirfield.
Widely considered the best player of his generation to have never won a major, Westwood is the 54-hole leader for the second time. Phil Mickelson overtook him in the Masters three years ago. Two other times, Westwood missed a playoff by one shot.
After three days on brittle, brown Muirfield, only three players remained under par.
Westwood was at 3-under 210, two shots clear of Woods (72) and Hunter Mahan, whose 68 matched the best score of the third round. Mahan, also going after that maiden major with far fewer credentials than Westwood, will be playing in the final group at his second straight major.
Woods lost his chance to get in the final group with one swing.
Tied with Westwood as they played the par-5 17th into a stiff breeze off the Firth of Forth, Woods tried to hit 3-wood over a series of bunkers to allow for a simple wedge into the green. With his ball on the slightest slope, he got it up in the air just enough that the wind grabbed it and deposited the ball in the bunker. Woods had to blast out sideways and missed a 15-foot par putt.
SYLVANIA, Ohio (AP) – Spain's Beatriz Recari birdied the two closing par 5s to catch Paula Creamer atop the leaderboard through 54 holes in the Marathon Classic.
Recari, a two-time winner on the LPGA Tour, matched Creamer with a 4-under 67. They were at 12-under 201.
Creamer, who won in 2008 when the tournament was known as the Jamie Farr Toledo Classic, led by as many as two shots before Recari's late surge at Highland Meadows.
Rising American teen Lexi Thompson had a 67 and, along with Jacqui Concolino and Japan's Chie Arimura, was three shots back. Concolino, whose career-best tie for 11th came at the event last year, had a 69. Arimura three-putted the final hole for bogey and a 68.
Top-ranked Inbee Park, chasing her seventh win of the season, sagged to a 73 to fall eight strokes back.
SANDERSON FARMS CHAMPIONSHIP
MADISON, Miss. (AP) – Daniel Summerhays waited out a rain delay before making a 19-foot birdie putt on the final hole for a share of the lead with Nicholas Thompson in the Sanderson Farms Championship.
Summerhays finished with a 3-under 69 to match Thompson at 17 under at Annandale Golf Club. Winless on the PGA Tour, Summerhays also led last week going into the final round of the John Deere Classic before finishing fourth – a stroke out of a playoff.
Thompson shot a 65. He's trying for his first PGA Tour win and would join sister Lexi as only the third brother-sister combo to win on the LPGA and PGA Tours.
Chad Campbell (65), Cameron Beckman (65), Woody Austin (67) and Kyle Reifers (67) were two strokes back.
U.S. AMATEUR PUBLIC LINKS
LORTON, Va. (AP) – Oklahoma State sophomore Jordan Niebrugge won the U.S. Amateur Public Links at Laurel Hill, beating California junior Michael Kim 1 up in the 36-hole final.
The winner traditionally receives a spot in the Masters, if still an amateur.
The 19-year-old Niebrugge, from Mequon, Wis., was 1 up after the morning round and increased the margin to four in the first six holes in the afternoon.
Niebrugge went without a bogey until the 31st hole when he three-putted and had his lead cut to one.
Kim, the 20-year-old Walker Cup player from Del Mar, Calif., rallied with birdie wins on the 27th, 30th and 31st. They halved the final five holes, with Kim virtually ending any chance of extra holes when he hit his second shot on the 36th into the water.
THE WOODLANDS, Texas (AP) – Zachary Olsen won the 107th Southern Amateur on Saturday, birdieing the final hole of regulation and the first hole of a playoff.
Olsen, the 19-year-old Cordova, Tenn., player who will be a freshman at Oklahoma State, made a 12-foot birdie putt on the 18th to get into the playoff with Joey Garber and Sam Love, then won with a 20-footer.
Olsen closed with a 1-under 71 to match Garber and Love at 12-under 276 on the Nicklaus Course at The Club at Carlton Woods. Garber, a Georgia senior from Petoskey, Mich., shot a 69, and Love, a senior at Alabama Birmingham from Trussville, Ala., had a 66.
Olsen received a spot next year in the PGA Tour's Arnold Palmer Invitational.
AMERICAN CENTURY CHAMPIONSHIP
STATELINE, Nev. (AP) – Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry had four birdies in a late six-hole stretch to take a one-point lead after the second round of the American Century Championship.
Curry had 25 points in the round and 47 overall in the modified Stableford format that awards graduated points for pars or better. Former NHL player Jeremy Roenick and former NFL quarterback Chris Chandler were tied for second, and former NFL quarterback Mark Rypien was two points back at 45.
After the birdie run, Curry bogeyed Nos. 17 and 18. Overall, he had five birdies and three bogeys for a 2-under 70 at Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course.