September 1, 2018 / 3:55 PM / 22 days ago

Westwood leads in Denmark, Olesen closing on Ryder Cup spot

(Reuters) - Ryder Cup vice-captain Lee Westwood moved to the top of the Made in Denmark leaderboard after overnight leader Christiaan Bezuidenhout struggled badly in Saturday’s third round.

Westwood carded a five-under 67 to lead by one shot on 16 under from fellow Englishman Steven Brown who roared into contention with a sizzling 63.

Home favourite Thorbjorn Olesen remained in prime position to secure the last automatic qualification for the Ryder Cup with a solid 67 which left him in a share of 30th spot, nine shots behind Westwood.

Matthew Fitzpatrick is the only player with a realistic chance of overhauling Olesen on the World Points list — one of the criteria for Ryder Cup selection.

Fitzpatrick, who needs to win the title and see Olesen finish outside the top seven, was on 10 under going into Sunday’s final round after a third-round 66.

Eddie Pepperell, the only other player who began the tournament on the Silkeborg Ry course with a chance of catching Olesen, dropped out of contention after a damaging 74.

Westwood made five consecutive birdies from the 10th but he undid some of his good work with a double-bogey six on the 18th.

South African Bezuidenhout’s problems began with a double-bogey six on the third hole and he never really recovered.

Olesen, looking to seal a debut in the Ryder Cup, bogeyed the second but hit back with six birdies.

He is favourite to join British Open champion Francisco Molinari of Italy, English trio Justin Rose, Tyrrell Hatton and Tommy Fleetwood, Spain’s Jon Rahm, Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy and Swede Alex Noren in the European team to take on the United States at Le Golf National in Paris from Sept. 28-30.

Captain Thomas Bjorn will complete his 12-man team with four wildcard picks.

Reporting by Martyn Herman; editing by Clare Fallon

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