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Unknown Evans making waves at Huntingdale

VIRTUAL unknown Andrew Evans is making a name for himself, sharing the lead at the Australian Masters at Huntingdale.

WHILE most of Australia and the assembled media at Huntingdale were asking themselves who Andrew Evans is the members at Sydney's Bexley Golf Club were shouting at the TV, demanding their former PGA Trainee get more air time.

Evans, a 29-year-old virtual unknown, has been hanging around the top of the Masters leader board since Thursday but most pundits expected the pressure cooker of Saturday would bring him undone.

It didn't. In fact, the opposite is true.

While former World Number One Adam Scott was going backwards, contributing six of the 15 strokes he and playing partner Peter Wilson dropped between them in the third round, Evans posted his third straight sub-par round to book a place in the final group on Sunday.

It's rarified air for the Monday qualifier but he's looking forward to the challenge, paired for the second straight day with informal coach and good friend, outright leader Matt Millar.

"He started helping me with my swing a few weeks ago so it was nice to be out there with him today and again tomorrow," he said.

"I thought I might be with Brett Rumford at the end of play Friday which would have been nice but it was really comfortable to be with Matt and I enjoyed it alot."

Paul Davis, head professional at Bexley where Evans did his traineeship, said the bar was full at the club with members cheering their star player along.

"You can tell he's not one of the big names because they're not showing enough of him on TV!" said Davis.

“All the members are in the bar watching the coverage and I have a mate walking with him at the course and sending me an update about every shot.

“Nobody else might know who he is but we're cheering for him.”

Bexley Golf Club

Statistically, Evans has been the standout performer of this Masters making just two bogies over the first 36 holes.

Rounds of 68 and 69 saw him start the third round at 5-under, three strokes behind joint leaders Adam Scott and Peter Wilson.

A bogey at the first suggested the Evans story was sticking to the expected script but he had other ideas, picking up shots at three of his next six holes to turn at 6-under before a birdie at the 14th saw him join the lead.

A dropped shot at the 18th drew groans from the Bexley members but Evans knows he is well in the mix.

"I just have to go out there tomorrow and stay out of my own way," he said.

"If I start thinking about shots instead of just seeing them that will be an error but I'll just go out and do my own thing.

"I have to approach it like just another golf tournament and we'll see where we are at the end of the day."

Andrew Evans 2

Photos: Joey Ratcliffe

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