John Senden / emiratesaustralianopen.com.au
John Senden regained the lead of the Emirates Australian Open at The Lakes, Sydney, with a battling third round of -2 under par, 70 and a tournament total of -7 under par. John takes a handy two-shot lead over Justin Rose of England into tomorrow’s final round, the second year in succession that he has led the national championship through 54 holes, but last year at The Lakes he was reeled in by Greg Chalmers. That statistic is something that John is acutely aware of, he mentioned it in his report, along with his Eagle at the par 5 eleventh;
“I know where I stand,’ I have to deal with that and go out tomorrow and play my game. You have to be able to control the ball any time you play golf, but in these conditions you have to be really on your game. I had a good number I was planning on just hit through the shot. If it goes a little long, that’s okay’. I took a risk there and pulled it off.’’
John is also mindful of the speed of the greens. and hopes the tournament organisers are also thinking about the course set up, the putting surfaces were running at 11 on the stimpmeter at the start of today’s round, but were much quicker by the end.
“If they’re predicting windier conditions tomorrow, they’ve got to make sure they take care of that,’
World number four Justin Rose is in second place alone at -5 under par, he was superb with his control, not making a single bogey until the 17th hole, and had possession of the lead for some time. But then the Englishman chipped off the green and dropped a shot, then missed the 18th green to the right and could not make par there either, Justin finished with signing for a -2 under par, 70, and will start two shots adrift of John Senden, but will be playing along side of him in the final pairing tomorrow. Justin said the conditions got tougher as the day went along;
“It got progressively tougher as the day went on, by the end of the round it was tough to even tap in, to be perfectly honest with you. Even from three feet you were getting buffeted around, the wind’s moving you. It’s very difficult to get the ball in the hole. Whoever literally stands up, the last man standing will win the golf tournament. I think it’s going to be a battle.’’
There are three Aussies tied in third spot at -4 under par for the tournament, Matthew Jones, Kieran Pratt and veteran Peter Senior. 2009 Australian Open champion Adam Scott is not quite out of the running just yet.Adam is at two-under-par for the tournament, just five shots back of the lead, especially if he gets the type of generous early morning conditions that most of the players have experienced this week.
Marcus Fraser had a disastrous third round of +4 over par 76, and he also will need something special on Sunday if he wants to get up and contend this trophy.