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DANDY Andy Oldcorn is set to tackle Lee Westwood head on for victory in today's final round of the Compaq European Grand Prix.

The Edinburgh golfer, who was sidelined with a mystery illness for more than two months earlier this year, will tee off in third place - four strokes behind Westwood.

Oldcorn moved into contention for a third Tour victory with an error-free third round 66, equalling Sam Torrance's first day effort. Westwood, fifth behind Tiger Woods in last week's US Open, battled against a nagging muscle injury to remain top of the leaderboard in the pounds 650,000 event at Slaley Hall, Northumberland.

He added a two-under-par 70 to move to 10-under 206, three strokes ahead of Sweden's Fredrik Jacobson, with Oldcorn just a stroke behind and two ahead of Darren Clarke.

Oldcorn said: "I can beat Lee, of course I can. But I don't think he will be particularly worried about me and Freddie Jacobson. He will more worried about Darren coming out of the pack.

"That doesn't bother me and I'm looking forward to playing with Lee."

Westwood, struggling through the pain barrier, doesn't see it Oldcorn's way. He said: "If I play as well as I did the first two days, I will take some catching.

"I'm quite pleased to be still three in front because the course was there for the taking today."

Westwood indicated he felt a twinge in the middle section of his lower back after taking his second shot at the fourth. He immediately called for one of the Tour's medical staff who met him on the 10th tee and applied a pain-killing spray to the region.

The World's No.9 then took a pain-killer at the 11th, where he recorded the third birdie of his round.

He said: "I felt a twinge after making an odd swing at four but I should be fine tomorrow."

Westwood is chasing his 11th European Tour win and his second this year.

A victory would confirm the 27-year old as a prime favourite for next month's Open at St Andrews.

Open kingpin Paul Lawrie returned to form with a gutsy 69. He is on 221 alongside Greig Hutcheon and Andrew Coltart (72).

Sam Torrance could take some comfort in his round of 71 that eased him back to level par.

Cheshire's Iain Pyman also equalled the best round of the tournament - a 66. Raymond Russell had a 68 to sit alongside Dean Robertson (72) on 219.

DAVID Huish recorded his third victory on the European Seniors Tour when he beat England's Neil Coles and South African John Fourie at the first extra hole in the Lawrence Batley event at Huddersfield.

North Berwick's Huish had closed with a two-under 69 to tie on 212.

IAN Frizzel, of Torwoodlee, booked his place in the semi-finals of the DM Hall Scottish Mid-Amateur Championship at The Roxburghe with a 6 and 5 victory over Cowglen's Les McLaughlin.

He now meets Bon-Accord's Steve Wheeler, who defeated William Bryson 4 and 3.

Powfoot's John Cameron will battle it out with Michael Whatley of Southerness, in the other semi. Results: J Cameron bt G Sharp (Portpatrick) 4 and 3, C Ovens (St Boswells) lost to M Whatley (Southerness) by two holes.

ABERDONIAN Richard Ramsay has a great chance to be a local hero in the Canon Scottish Youths Open Stroke-play Championship at Newmachar today.

The 17-year-old Royal Aberdeen player leads one of the title favourites Barry Hume (Haggs Castle), by three strokes at the halfway stage after shooting wind-taming rounds of 69 and 68 for a seven-under-par tally of 137.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Jun 25, 2000
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