Injury scare for Westwood

Lee Westwood had an injury scare today just 12 days before the start of the Open Championship at Royal Lytham.

Lee Westwood had an injury scare today just 12 days before the start of the Open Championship at Royal Lytham.

The world number three tweaked a knee and strained a groin when he slipped walking to the first tee for the third round of the Alstom French Open at Le Golf National near Paris.

It looked serious as he double-bogeyed the opening hole and bogeyed the next five, but with the pain easing he managed to play the remaining 12 holes in two under.

That still meant a five-over-par 76 - his worst score in Europe for more than three years - and he still had some concern as he spoke afterwards.

"I was talking to Richard Sterne's caddie and not looking where I was going," Westwood told Sky Sports.

"I slipped on wooden sleepers down the side of the cart path. My left foot went forward about two feet and my right foot stayed where it was.

"It left like I strained something at the top of my right leg and tweaked my right knee as well.

"I didn't really have much confidence in it and as the round went on I just kept stretching my groin out. It seems to have eased off, but I am still a little bit wary of it.

"I felt if it stopped it might make it worse by seizing up, so I thought it was better to keep it moving.

"I didn't try to overdo it over the first few holes, but lost everything to the right - I couldn't put any weight on it.

"I don't know what I've done to it. Hopefully I've just tweaked it and not done anything more serious than that.

"You don't have the confidence to load up on the right side and then all my weight is too far forward on the way through. I was just blocking everything straight right and there's not much room on this golf course anyway."

Westwood was planning to ring his trainer Steve McGregor for advice on whether to have treatment or just rest the injury.

The 39-year-old is currently without regular caddie Billy Foster after he suffered a knee injury in a soccer kickabout and he has unhappy memories of Le Golf National.

Two years ago he had to go to hospital for what was initially feared to be a deep vein thrombosis, but turned out to be a ruptured plantaris muscle in his calf.

He still managed a runner-up finish in The Open just afterwards, but pulled out of the USPGA Championship and did not play again until the Ryder Cup.

Meanwhile, South African George Coetzee took over the lead, covering the first 12 holes in four under to be one ahead of Dane Anders Hansen.

Overnight leader Marcel Siem was two back and Thailand's Thongchai Jaidee three behind.

Coetzee bogeyed the 13th after a bad drive and that put him back in a tie with Hansen on seven-under, while up into third place only one behind came England's David Howell after a birdie at the long 14th and then another from only three feet at the short 16th.

Seconds later the sirens sounded because of a coming thunderstorm and play was suspended at 3.15pm.

Graeme McDowell was in fits of laughter on the 18th green. His birdie putt was on its way into the hole as the action was called off.

Round in 71 and joint 12th on one under, it meant he did not have to hang around waiting for a possible resumption.

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