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Ogilvy's brilliance earns Australian Open lead

Ogilvy hits his tee shot at the 17th today (Photo: Bruce Young)
Geoff Ogilvy has produced a brilliant third round of 64 at the Emirates Australian Open at the Royal Sydney Golf Club and has snatched the lead heading into tomorrow’s final round.

Ogilvy leads by two over the leading world ranked player in the field, Jordan Spieth, Aaron Baddeley and New Zealander Ryan Fox, that trio one clear of Rod Pampling.

Adam Scott missed a five foot putt at the last which would have moved him into a share of 5th with Pampling, a miss that could well prove costly come 5.00pm tomorrow

Ogilvy has given indications in recent times, more especially with his 4th place finish at the Shriners Hospitals for Children event in Las Vegas three weeks ago, that his game is not far from where it needed to be to win his second Australian Open and today he confirmed that with a round that included eight birdies and no bogeys.

“I was excited coming back,” said Ogilvy when asked about his form coming into this week’s event.  “The form really since about May I would have said trending in the right direction. Patience has never been my strong suit, so at times I haven’t been ready to wait for the scores but they’ve been coming a little bit. Vegas, I played all right a few weeks ago so I was looking forward coming back here and giving myself a chance.” 

Ogilvy has a strong sense of the value of the Australian Open title and reinforced that opinion today after he had finished his round. “It’s the Australian Open. It’s our (Australian players) fifth biggest tournament I would say, in the world after the Majors. The further separated, I think, you get from it, and the more you look back, the more important the Australian Open is, so. it’s fun to come back and play.  It really does feel like a big tournament for most of us, I think.”

Ogilvy finished his round 2½ hours ahead of the final group and those behind on the golf course and the leader-board could not match his effort.

“To be honest, I didn’t really see 64 on the first tee, but after going out so well on the front 9 I kind of started seeing a score like that; so it was nice, said Ogilvy after his round.

“I guess the whole point of the first three rounds is to give yourself a chance with one round to play and I left quite a few shots out there on Thursday, Friday, playing nicely but just not having the max I could have had, I suppose to lead and today I had the least I could have had; so, that’s always a nice feeling.

“It’s a pretty good round.  I don’t really know.  You can shoot a 70 in the US Open and it’s way harder.  As you said, that was a kind of an easy 64, if there is such a thing.  But looking back at it, on the first tee, if you told me that was 64, I would have said if someone shoots 64 today, that would have been a really good score; so a pretty good round.  I don’t really rank things like that, but a pretty good round.”

Baddeley has been flying under the radar to a large extent this week despite his win earlier in the year on the PGA Tour and that he is on a golf course which means so much to him having won at Royal Sydney as an amateur in 1999 he is not without a chance of winning his third Australian Open Championship.

Spieth was again his frustrated self at times throughout his round but after an early bogey he did enough to for the remainder of his round to move to the edge of the lead. Once again the 15th hole proved costly for Spieth, a double bogey there yesterday and his only bogey of the day today at the same hole providing a major hiccup in his pursuit of the lead.

Fox now has European Tour status as a result of a successful season on the European Challenge Tour and although yet to win a top level event on any one of the world's main tours, as many of those around him have heading into tomorrow, he is still a chance of doing just that.It wasn't always pretty for Fox today but his new found confidence has him as genuine chance to elevate his status in the game even further on championship Sunday.

Eighteen players are within five shots of the lead heading into tomorrow and all likely fancy their chances of producing something special tomorrow. For some it will be a bridge too far but nine of them have played the PGA Tour at various stages throughout their careers and winning an event of this nature is not beyond them.

Tournament organisers will be delighted at the congestion in the leader-board and the quality of the players who will do battle on what promises to be a great final day. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

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