Respective Vic Opens enter final day
BY Bruce Young | Australasian PGA Tour | 2012 Victorian Open | Day Three | 07 Jan 2012
The Men’s and Women’s Victorian Opens head into their respective final rounds at the Spring Valley Golf Club in Melbourne tomorrow, the Men’s event having developed into a tight contest between New Zealander Mike Hendry and Sydney’s Scott Arnold while New South Wales golfer Rebecca Flood has opened a three shot lead in the Women’s event.
Hendry threatened to establish an unassailable lead in the men’s event when he moved seven shots clear of Arnold through seven holes of today’s third round.
Arnold, though, birdied four of the next five holes and when Hendry dropped four shots in his last six holes it was a case of game on for Sunday’s final round.
“I’ve driven it poorly all week and today I think the fluky wind made it tougher to hit my irons close and even hit the greens at some stages,” said Hendry.
“I just drove it poorly and missed a few putts, whereas the first two days I’ve been putting really well and holing those eight-footers for par. But it didn’t happen today.
“It’s not easy winning golf tournaments because you’re always going to have a scratchy round at some stage. But I’m still in with a chance to win the tournament and I’m still tied for the lead, so the tournament doesn’t really start until the back nine on Sunday as they say, so as long as I can find the fairway tomorrow, I’ll be fine.”
Arnold knew he was losing ground early in his round but did not panic. “I had a look at the leaderboard and saw that I was seven back at one stage, he was 12 and I was five but I didn’t really worry about it, said Arnold. “I just thought keep playing your game and what happens, happens.”
Hendry and Arnold are tied at 9 under and enjoy a three shot lead over Queenslander Matt Ballard and New South Welshman Kurt Barnes, both of whom recorded rounds of 68 to share 3rd position at 6 under.
Craig Parry bounced back from a second round of 75 with a round of 69 today to be on his own in 5th position, one shot ahead of Rika Batibasaga, Alistair Presnell, Steve Jeffress and Anthony Summers.
The large group in 10th position at 1 under includes Peter Lonard who was round in 68 today and PGA Tour School standout, Daniel Popovic.
Flood takes a three shot lead over the experienced and highly credentialed Karen Lunn in the Women’s Victorian Open, the soon to be married 23 year old putting together a stunning round of six under under 67. A bogey at one of the easier holes on the golf course, the 17th, put a slight dampener on what was a special day for Flood but it was an impressive round all the same.
Flood plays the Ladies European Tour and finished 70th on the 2011 money list to retain her playing rights there for 2012. She will be married in February in her hometown of Coonabarabran in western NSW.
Former British Open winner, Lunn, moved into contention with a round of 68 to be within three of Flood with a further shot back to joint first round leader, Korean Haeji Kang and Frenchwoman, Joanna Klatten, with West Australian Jessica Speechley in 5th position at 1 under.
Klatten produced an amazing comeback from a disatrous quintuple bogey at the par three 10th to play her last seven holes in six under for a round of 70 and a share of 3rd position.
Tomorrow’s final round will be played with men’s and women’s groups alternating throughout the day.
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