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Leaders Chasing Milestones at Vic Open

Wade Ormsby chasing first home title (Photo: Golf Australia)
The opening two days of the Vic Open saw the Creek and the Beach courses at 13th Beach in Victoria face a barrage of under par scoring from the European, Australasian and LPGA Tour fields but on day three of the trailblazing event the Beach Course exacted its revenge.

Sure, there was still some good scoring but much of that came from those out early in the day (the first tee time was 6.40am) but as the strong winds began to buffet the seaside layout scores began to soar.

There were some high numbers amongst the men but even more so amongst the women’s field and heading into tomorrow’s final round South Australian Wade Ormsby heads the men’s event and American Kim Kaufman that of the woman.

Ormsby is chasing his first victory on Australian soil after many years playing the European Tour and a collegiate career in Texas.

He has won the Hong Kong Open and the Panasonic Open India but tomorrow Ormsby gets the chance to add a significant Australian victory to his CV and with a two shot lead over England’s Callum Shinkwin and Australian Matthew Stieger he will get few chances quite as good to do so.

Ormsby’s final nine holes of 2 under 34 was particularly impressive given the blustery conditions that swept across the links layout of the Beach Course and allowed him to move clear of several golfers who found the conditions too much to handle.

“I made a bit of a meal of it straight out of the box,” said Ormsby referring to his early double bogey. “It was just tough out there.  Warming up we knew it was going to be a really tough day, trying to find a way to keep the ball down.”

"I just kept grinding really. That's all we can do in weather like that. You're going to hit a lot of bad shots, need to recover a lot and I did that quite well, so I'm happy.

“I’ve had a lot of tough rounds out there. There is a little bit of margin around here. The greens are still soft.  I said to my caddie if the greens were firm out here, that would have been a debacle out there. But the greens are soft enough that if you hit good shots, you'll still get rewarded, so it was okay.”

Scotland’s David Law, South African Justin Harding and Australian Brad Kennedy are just one shot further behind but with a total of 15 players within five shots of Ormsby’s lead then tomorrow promises much.

Third round leader Jason Scrivener suffered a tough break when he cost himself a one-shot penalty by clumsily picking up his marker without replacing his ball at the 15th. He is now five shots from the lead. It was the culmination of a rough day for the West Australian. 

Kaufman struggle to a round of 75 but with only two of the women’s field breaking 70 on day three she was able to retain her lead and she now heads into tomorrow’s final round with her two-shot lead and she too is chasing a milestone tomorrow as she searches for her first LPGA Tour title in her 6th LPGA Tour season.

Frenchwoman Celine Boutier and local golfer and LPGA Tour member Su Oh are two shots behind Kaufman, all three looking for a breakthrough LPGA Tour title.

“Yeah, that was six hours of just getting beat up by the wind,” said an exhausted but happy Kaufman. “We had maybe like two tee boxes where we got out of it and we all just went, oh, thank God for one second. We all survived.

“I went to school in west Texas, which is pretty windy, but this was up there. It really felt like a British Open day, but we all just fight and good things that happen and bad things that happen would happen to everyone.”

Celine Boutier shares second with Su Oh

The field has been cut once again to the leading 35 players and ties in each field to accommodate tomorrow's final round.

The final round of one of the most talked event in recent times in professional golf is played tomorrow and while there will be on-going discussion about the support or rather lack of it by the leading female players the concept has already proven to be a success and tomorrow is likely to add to it.

  

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