Snedeker, Westwood continue red-hot scoring on Tour

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On Saturday, Brandt Snedeker and Lee Westwood became just the latest players to flirt with golf’s magic number.

Indeed, the PGA Tour’s silly season continues to produce crazy-low scoring.

In the past three PGA Tour sanctioned events, four players have shot rounds of 60 or 61: Tommy Gainey’s closing 60 to win The McGladrey Classic; Nick Watney’s final-round 61 to capture the CIMB Classic; and now Snedeker (60) and Westwood (61) went low to position themselves for a Sunday sprint at the WGC-HSBC Champions in China.

On Saturday, Snedeker made 10 birdies and an eagle and came within inches of shooting 59 in the third round of the final WGC event of the season, narrowly missing his 15-foot birdie putt on the final hole. Nonetheless, his 12-under 60 set a course record on the Olazabal Course at Mission Hills, and he now owns the lowest score ever shot in a WGC event.

Said Snedeker, the 2012 FedEx Cup champion, “You don’t get a chance to shoot 59 too often, maybe a couple of times in your career. I’d love to have that putt again.”

Perhaps even more important: Snedeker climbed his way back into the tournament; after beginning the third round 15 shots behind the leaders, in a tie for 38th, he now sits only five shots behind (T-7).

Ditto for Westwood, whose 61 gave him a share of the 54-hole lead, with Louis Oosthuizen. Long recognized as one of the game’s preeminent ball-strikers, the Englishman has failed to win either a major or a WGC event, a curious drought that could end with another good round Sunday.

“I just wanted to come out fast and try to get some momentum,” Westwood said afterward. “That’s just been missing from my game the last couple of weeks. I came out quick as you like with three birdies and that got me going and the hole started to look bigger.”