Dartnall holds on at windy Royal Sydney
BY Bruce Young | Australasian PGA Tour | 2008 Australian Open | Round Three | 13 Dec 2008
After nine holes of round three at the Australian Open, second round leader, Stephen Dartnall, is holding on to a narrow lead but it was the New Zealander David Smail who had become his nearest challenger.
The tall Kiwi continued on from his strong finish to round two this morning by adding two quick birdies at the opening two holes to join the lead before Dartnall birdied the 8th to move ahead again.
Andre Stolz and Steve Bowditch were the big movers early on day three. Stolz added six birdies in his first 11 holes to move to 10 under at that point and the 2002 Invensys Classic winner on the PGA Tour had moved within two shots of the lead. Another birdie at the 13th had him within one of Dartnall.
Bowditch started his round at 1 under and his proven capacity to go low was highlighted again when he raced to eight under for the day and 9 under for the tournament when he birdied the par four 4th hole (his 13th of the round). Bowditch then dropped shots at his 15th and 16th holes but we are again reminded of his significant potential.
New Zealander Mark Brown made the turn in 1 under but when he added two further birdies at the 10th and 11th he was at 9 under and was perhaps making a case for a New Zealand quinella tomorrow evening.
While some were moving forward, Mathew Goggin was moving in the other direction and when he made the turn in 38 he had fallen to 7 under and five off the lead.
Other potential challengers, Rod Pampling and Peter Lonard, also struggled throughout the early stages of their rounds and their chance of winning the tournament now appears all but gone.