Westwood, Rumford lead by one stroke in Perth


When the dust settled, little-known Thai journeyman Prom Meesawat, nicknamed "The Big Dolphin" because of his penchant for swimming, had topped qualifying at 12-under after shooting 67 in the third round. "Finish the stroke play rounds in first place, and then win the tournament", added Prom, whose last matchplay experience in his professional career was in 2007, in a team event that pit Asian golfers against their European counterparts.

Denmark's Thorbjorn Olesen was the third man in Westwood's group but he made it round in 69 to form part of a three-way tie for second on 10-under alongside Australia's Lucas Herbert and American Sean Crocker.

Former Florida player Sam Horsfield finished in the top eight to earn a bye into the second match-play round.

Westwood had been in a share for the lead heading into Saturday, having started with rounds of 66 and 70, but he carded three bogeys and a pair of double bogeys to drop to two-under alongside Rumford, with both players carding six-over rounds of 78.

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"I hit a few bad shots, got a few bad breaks and didn't make any putts. I made one birdie on the 17th, so you're not going to score well doing that".

One of the players he tied with was Rumford, despite the defending champion managing three birdies.

He looked well placed to reach the final 24 until a disastrous double bogey on the 16th killed off his chances.

Rumford said that took its toll.

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"You would have to lie to say that you're not aware of your opponent, but I'm not playing against (Westwood), I'm not changing my game plan or swing thoughts or nothing, I'm just playing golf".

That involves a series of six-hole matches at Lake Karrinyup, with 24-year-old Craigielaw man Forrest taking on Australian Matthew Millar in the opening round and Sam Horsfield awaiting the victor after the Englishman was among the eight players to receive byes.

His best previous result on the European Tour was a playoff loss to Miguel Angel Jimenez and Stuart Manley in Hong Kong in 2013.

"I did well for the last two days, I only missed a couple of shots to put myself in the top position", said Meesawat. "It's going to be good fun".

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