Lee Westwood remains in contention at Wentworth after remarkable round

Els, 47, carded a one-under-par 71 to begin the European Tour's BMW PGA Championship overnight.

Lowry was out early this morning and reached two under par with birdies on the fifth and the sixth before dropping back to level par with dropped shots on eight and nine.

He had three birdies from the third to help him to an outward nine of 30 and came back in 36, one-under par, spoiling his chance to have a bigger lead with bogey at the par-five 18th.

Italian Francesco Molinari lies one behind Carlsson at five under after an opening bogey. The rough's up. It's a little damp, which makes it tougher to hit out of, but it's a great golf course.

And in typical Poulter bluntness, when asked if he had any ideas on how to remedy it, he said, "No, have you?"

"I wish they had left them how they were", said Wood after posting a three-over-par tally of 219.

"I didn't play amazingly well but I made some good up-and-downs to keep the round going", said Molinari.

Looking ahead to the final round, Dodt said: "It's going to be tough out there".

The 31-year Brisbane golfer posted a four-under par 68 in Saturday's third round for an eight-under total in very windy conditions.

Two other Englishmen, Graeme Storm and Oliver Fisher, are on four under after carding a 72 and a 70 respectively.

On the 12th hole, the South African told his playing partners that, as his ball was plugged, he needed to lift it to check it was his and, after doing so, then chipped in seemingly for an eagle three.

The Irishman is not out of the equation by any means, but while his putter went cold on him yesterday, he did not take too kindly to questions about his performance on the greens. "I am quite competitive by nature, I don't want to see a weekend slip past and watch everyone play while I am sitting on the range".

"We listened to some of the player comments through the years. and I think we've got it right this time". I didn't try to hit any super fancy shots. The renovation program started eight days after Chris Wood's victory previous year, with all 18 greens stripped of their old turf and reseeded.

Pieters, who bogeyed the last after finding the water with his approach, was making his first start since finishing in a tie for fourth at the Masters, having opted to miss the Players Championship in favour of a family holiday.

Four of the 18 putting surfaces were also reshaped while five more were partially rebuilt.

On a hard day for scoring, especially on tree-lined Wentworth's front nine, as fresh winds gusted up to 20mph, Grace carded a two-under 70 to claim second place behind surprise leader Andrew Dodt of Australia (68).

  • Jo Lloyd