Lee Westwood & David Lynn close gap on leaders at Quail Hollow

Wells Fargo Championship - third-round leaderboard (US unless stated)

  • -8: P Mickelson, N Watney
  • -7: G McNeill
  • -6: L Westwood (Eng), D Lynn (Eng), J Senden (Aus), R Moore, R Karlsson (Swe), D Ernst
  • Selected others: -5: R McIlroy (NI)
  • -4: S Garcia (Spa)
  • -2: R Fisher (Eng)
  • -1: B Davis (Eng)

Englishmen Lee Westwood and David Lynn moved to within two shots of the leaders after the third round of the Wells Fargo Championship.

Americans Phil Mickelson and Nick Watney are tied for the lead at eight under par, one ahead of compatriot George McNeill.

The English pair are among a group of six on six under.

Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy posted a one-over 73 to finish a shot further back.

The world number two began the day in a share of fifth place but dropped down to 10th as he struggled with his putting.

McIlroy, who won this event in 2010 and was only beaten in a play-off last year, cannot overhaul Tiger Woods at the top of the rankings this weekend, but is hoping for a victory to close the gap after celebrating his 24th birthday on Saturday.

"I don't think I was necessarily scraping it around," he said. "From tee to green it was actually OK, but when I got on the greens it was a problem. I just couldn't hole anything.

"When you miss a few putts on these greens, you sort of lose confidence in your stroke and then it's just sort of hard to commit fully to what you want to do. If I want to hole some putts tomorrow, I need to do a better job of that."

Westwood could not match his form in the opening two rounds - when he shot a 70 followed by a 68 - but his 72 was enough to keep him in contention. Lynn carded a round of 71.

Previous Wells Fargo Championship winners

  • 2012: Rickie Fowler
  • 2011: Lucas Glover
  • 2010: Rory McIlroy
  • 2009: Sean O'Hair
  • 2008: Anthony Kim
  • 2007: Tiger Woods

On a windy day at Quail Hollow, overnight leader Mickelson could only manage a one-over round of 73, carding three bogeys and a double-bogey to allow Watney to join him at the top of the leaderboard, despite his own double-bogey at the 17th thanks to a semi-shank.

"I can't remember the last time I did that in a tournament, so it was a bit unsettling'' Watney said about his poor shot.

"It just so happened that I'm playing really well and it was on TV, so that's where the embarrassment comes from. But the other thing is you like to put as much distance as you can between you and the other guys, so a bit of anger and definitely some embarrassment.

"The big picture? I'm tied for the lead, and I would have taken that on Thursday morning."

Mickelson hit a shot out-of-bounds on the 15th and then hit another shot that struck a spectator in the head, costing him three shots over the last four holes but he made a seven-foot par putt on the 18th to earn a share the lead.

"I was grinding it out there even though I didn't have my A game coming down the stretch," said Mickelson.

"I played poorly coming down the stretch and I'm lucky to be tied for the lead."