Canberra's Matt Millar heads day three of Queensland Open
BY iseekgolf.com | Von Nida Tour | 2003 Queensland Open | Round Three | 01 Nov 2003
Canberra-based professional Matt Millar, 27, today set himself for the biggest prize in his brief career when he swept to the top of the leader board in the Q.L.D. Group Queensland Open at Ipswich Golf Club.
Using the benefit of previous experience playing in strong winds, the diminutive Millar defied gusty 40 knot winds to return a four under par 68 for a 54 hole total of 14 under par.
Despite admitting to some loose shots as the wind took its toll on the closing holes, Millar said he was happy to be sharing the honours with overnight leader, Euan Walters from Melbourne.
Walters, who started and finished the day at 14 under, almost three away the lead with loose shots on both the 14th and 17th holes but showed his fighting grit by grabbing a birdie on the closing hole.
The 32 year old, soon to be a father for the third time, played two lazy hook shots on the 14th and then had to play a left handed chip away from a tree before escaping with a bogey.
On the 17th, again playing into the teeth of a headwind, pulled his second shot into a greenside lake and had to settle for another bogey.
Millar, only vaguely aware of what was happening behind him, had his own troubles with the par three 15th for the third day in a row but used the following wind to carve out an easy birdie on the last hole.
The Belconnen-trained Millar said he was hoping to improve his ranking of 15 on the Von Nida Tour and to take a strong finish in the Open into the Queensland PGA next week.
In a day when the Queensland based players struggled with the windy conditions, 27 year old Michael Light from the Woodlands club in Melbourne shot a steady three-under par 69 to move to equal third on the leader board after starting in equal sixth.
“It was pretty tough out there today because I’m tall and thin. I got blown around a fair bit,” Light said.
“From the 14th onwards I was getting a bit tired, and I played a couple of loose shots but I managed to scramble pars on the last seven holes,” he said.
Light, who left a bank job to tackle the professional golf tour three years ago, will also have to caddy for himself in the last round after a friend who carried for him today decided to go to a birthday party.
Queensland veteran Don Fardon jnr continued to adopt a laid back attitude to his successful run in the first tournament he has played in almost five years.
Even the attraction of an automatic exemption into the Queensland PGA field did not change his demeanour as he looked at his name near the top of the leader board for the third day in a row.
“I used to have high expectations of myself and a low tolerance level but these days it is the other way around,” the 41-year-old golf teacher said.
“I am entered for the PGA but I will have to pre-qualify if I don’t win here. It doesn’t worry me, either way,” he said.
Fardon squandered a chance to be outright third when he had a bogey on the 18th but still finished the day with a level par 72.
The leading amateur at the end of day three was Indooroopilly 22-year-old, Adam Blyth from the Queensland Academy of Sport.
Blyth, who hopes to turn professional next year, shot a 68 today to be at nine under par and in equal sixth position.
He shares the spot with John Sutherland (Vic), Nathan Green (Q) and Chris Downes (Q) and is one ahead of seasoned Queensland professionals Wayne Perske and Scott Hend.
Blyth said his previous best score for a 72 hole tournament was a 12 under return at a UK tournament but he considered his effort in the Queensland Open so far to be the best golf of his career.
Source – QLD PGA