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Andrew Dodt shares Scottish Open lead

Dodt at the 18th today (Photo: Getty Images)
Australian Andrew Dodt and Englishmen Ian Poulter and Callum Shinkwin have the 54 hole lead at the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open at Dundonald Links in Ayrshire in Scotland after a day of heavy winds and rain buffeted the area.

The trio have a two shot lead over yet another Englishman in Andy Sullivan, whose third round of 67 was not only the best of the day but moved him 27 positions to hold 4th place alone, while another shot back in 5th position are Ireland’s Paul Dunne, Swede Johan Carlsson and the in form New Zealander Ryan Fox.

Dodt, from Gatton about an hour west of Brisbane, is a two time winner on the European Tour who appears to have found a new lease of life over the past nine months or so with several good finishes including a runner-up finish at the Australian PGA Championship and a 3rd place at the Hong Kong Open after struggling with his game for much of 2016.

A decision late last year to adopt a less technical attitude on the golf course where he was not seeking perfection all the time has certainly changed the course of things for the 31 year old.

“I probably get a bit technical at times with my swing,” said Dodt. “And out here, I can't get technical at all about where I want to hit it, what flight I hit, where I want to land it on the green. Yeah, gets me out of my head and frees me up.

“When we got to the 10th, probably through the 14th, 15th, it started raining and it just got so difficult. I hit a couple of loose shots and probably got a little bit of luck along the way, which you need on a day like this.

“I'm not in The Open yet. But fingers crossed this time tomorrow night, we are. I have a five-day holiday in New York, my wife flew in from Sydney this morning. I'll be quite happy to cancel the holiday for a spot in The Open, and my first major.”

Dodt’s fellow leaders are a contrasting pair, Poulter a multiple winner world-wide and Shinkwin a former English Amateur Champion who after not finishing the events he started in nine of his last eleven apperances appears to be finding his feet at this level.

Poulter is clearly the most credentialed of the three but he has had his own demons in recent times although following a runner-up finish at the Players Championship recently things have made a turn for the better.

“I'm in a good mental state. Obviously, a few months back, things were pretty difficult but life's a little bit easier right now and obviously I'm enjoying my golf,” said Poulter.

“I feel good, I feel great, I feel excited to be in this position, and obviously I relish the opportunity tomorrow to try to put my hand on that trophy. I need to play well. There's a lot of players behind me. There's a lot at stake tomorrow and obviously I'm going to do my best.

“Attitude is everything, I think. You can beat yourself up before you get on the golf course, which is a problem. So before you go out, you could do half the damage before you start. I think starting with the right frame of mind, you know it's going to be a tough day, but everyone else is going to have just as tough a day as you are."

Shinkwin has yet to win on either the Challenge or European Tour but he now has not only a chance to just that but to win a lucrative one at that and to secure a place in his first major championship as the leading three players inside this week’s top ten and not already exempt for the Open will be driving down from Troon to Southport on Sunday night.

“I've just found a consistency in my game really, a little piece of the puzzle missing,” said Shinkwin. “I managed to find that at The French Open, and keep trying to perform and practise, as well.

“I actually missed nine cuts in a row actually. I was working with my coach in France and managed to find an extra piece to the puzzle and try and fix up my season and it's worked so far.”

With Poulter already in the field for the Open then for Dodt and Shinkwin tomorrow takes on even greater significance.

Fox is on the crest of a wave at present with a 6th place finish in France and a 4th place finish in Northern Ireland last week which earned him an Open Championship start.

Jason Scrivener and Sam Brazel are the next best of the Australians after Dodt, the pair tied in 29th position.

For Adam Scott, however, he struggled to a round of 78 and slipped 36 positions to be in 51st place heading into tomorrow’s final round.

 

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Bruce Young
About The Author : Bruce Young

A multi-award winning golf journalist, Bruce's extensive knowledge of and background in the game of golf comes from several years caddying the tournament circuits of the world, marketing a successful golf course design company and as one of Australia's leading golf journalists and commentators.

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