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  Saturday, 21 July, 2001, 18:16 GMT 19:16 UK
Woosnam rolls back the years
Ian Woosnam and Bernhard Langer
Woosnam (l) and Langer congratulate each other
Ian Woosnam shot a superb third-round 67 at The Open Championship on Saturday to move into joint first place on the leaderboard.

The Welshman started the day five shots off the lead but finished the day on six under thanks to an eagle three at the 11th plus two more birdies.

Woosnam is part of a four-strong pack that includes playing partner Bernhard Langer, American David Duval and Alex Cejka of Germany.


I realised you've got to be patient and just enjoy it
Ian Woosnam

Only three weeks ago, Woosnam admitted he was bored with the game, saying he would rather have a couple of pints than spend time practising.

But an exhilarating round with Langer has rekindled his fire, both players shooting four-under-par rounds of 67 to move to six-under-par totals of 207 and a share of the lead.

With his switch to the long-handled putter reaping rich rewards on the greens especially, good enough to put him top of the tournament's putting statistics, Woosnam feels he has a real chance of winning his first Open.

"I'm in love with golf again and I'm going to play as much as I can," the 43-year-old said. "I think golf's fantastic and I'm going to play 52 weeks of the year, Christmas as well!

"When you're running around the world and bashing your head against a brick wall like I have for a while now, it's hard.

"I've been too aggressive in the past but now I'm hitting the middle of the greens and with my long putter I always feel I've got a chance from 25-30 feet.

David Duval
Hanging in: Duval is vying for first place
"After my back nine on the first day I thought I wouldn't be here, but I realised you've got to be patient and just enjoy it.

"Anybody who's British wants to win The Open and I certainly do. This is my 20th time in it and I've only had four top-10s.

"My experience will be a help because I should know when to go for the pin and not to go for the pin at the wrong time."

Victory would also clinch Woosnam a place in Europe's Ryder Cup team - he is already vice-captain to Sam Torrance.

"If I do win this - or even come second - I'm in the Ryder Cup and that would be fantastic, so there's a lot at stake," said Woosnam.

"I won't let it put pressure on me and I'm going out to enjoy it."

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Ian Woosnam
"I hit some fantastic long irons"
http://news.bbc.co.uk
Open joint leader Ian Woosnam: "I enjoyed it, the crowd were terrific."
The 130th Open, at Royal Lytham

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