Goggin finishes strongly for PGA lead
BY Bruce Young | Australasian PGA Tour | 2008 Australian PGA Championship | Round Three | 06 Dec 2008
In some of the hottest and steamiest conditions experienced in the seven year history of the Australian PGA Championship’s tenure at the Hyatt Regency Resort, joint second round leader, Mathew Goggin, has finished the third day as a narrow one shot leader over Rod Pampling and Geoff Ogilvy.
Jarrod Lyle bogeyed the last and Peter O’Malley finished strongly with a round of 67 and that pair are tied in 4th place at 10 under.
Even with 18 players required to complete their second rounds this morning little, if any, impact was made on the overnight leaderboard and when play in round three began at 9.15am Jarrod Lyle and Mathew Goggin remained in the lead as they had since finishing their second rounds just after midday on Friday. They led at that point by a shot from Paul Sheehan.
Lyle became the outright leader at the very first hole of the third round but not by his own doing. His playing partner Goggin took bogey and the difference at the top of the leader-board was one. Goggin fought back to share the lead again when he birdied the 4th and 5th holes but when Lyle birdied the par five 8th he had a lead that he would hold until he hit it through the green at the 16th at about the same time as Geoff Ogilvy was holing a chip across the green for birdie at the last.
At about that same time, last week’s Australian Masters Champion, Rod Pampling, was in the process of making birdie at the 17th to follow one he had made at the 16th and the three players were tied at 11 under.
None was able to break clear over the final hole or two but just when it appeared as if Goggin was losing ground, he was back with an eight foot putt for birdie at the 17th. He had created a four way tie in the lead but he was not yet finished. Goggin followed up with another birdie after a fine second to three feet at the last and had regained the lead that he shared as he hit off just over four hours earlier.
“I played well today. I threw away a couple of shots in the middle of the round with a couple of three putts but I am pleased to have been able to finish with two birdies. I hit a knocked down 6 iron from 151 metres at the last.”
“It was frustrating between the 8th and 14th but when Jarrod was unable to take advantage of a couple of chances to get to 13 under in that stretch I knew I was still in there.”
“The one shot lead is almost irrelevant,” he added when asked about having the lead. “I am playing against some great players tomorrow so all I know I have to do is shoot a good score.”
Ogilvy was delighted to finish with a 9 iron chip and run across the green at the last that found the bottom of the hole for a round of 67.
“It’s a funny game,” said Ogilvy after his round. “I missed a couple of relatively easy putts on the two previous holes and although it was a relatively simple chip it was a bonus when it disappeared.”
For all his significant success internationally, Ogilvy has yet to win at home. It is perhaps ironic that Australia’s two leading world ranked players Adam Scott and Geoff Ogilvy have yet to win in their own country but tomorrow he has one of his best chances to do just that.
“It would be nice to do so just so I don’t get asked that question again,” he said jokingly. “I am playing well. We got a break last night as we felt we would not get finished but got through our last couple of holes quickly and didn’t have to come back early this morning.”
Pampling is on track to not only win his second event in succession but to set up a possible Triple Crown at next week’s Australian Open. He will need to be at his best tomorrow as there are plenty who will be keen to ensure he does not have that chance.
Peter O’Malley was another to shoot 67, that effort moving him into outright 5th place.
“I have played quite well all week apart from finishing off my first round off poorly on Friday morning. I have had probably my worst year in Europe with 13th at the French Open the best. I have always played well her and had a few chances.”
Given the quality of players amongst the first five on the leaderboard it is hard to imagine that anyone below that line could win but as Goggin suggested after his round, if the wind stays down then a really low round is on the cards.
Sunday at the Australian PGA Championship promises yet another gripping finale.