The cream had risen to the top of the leaderboard by the end of day 3. Matthew Goggin, Geoff Ogilvy, Rod Pampling, Peter O’Malley and Jarrod Lyle finished the day at or near the top.
After struggling early, Goggin reeled off birdies on 3 of the last four holes to end the day as sole leader at 12 under. Goggin pulled off the shot of the day by hitting his approach to less than a metre from the pin on the 18th green. “It was a knock down six iron from 150 metres,” said Goggin. “I played quite well today and threw a few away during the middle of the round where I had a couple of three putts and didn’t take advantage of some good play and made a mess of some easy up and downs so it was nice to finish off strong and get in with a respectable score for the day,” Goggin said.
Jarrod Lyle struggled to keep his rhythm, posting three bogeys in six holes in the searing heat and humidity. Making birdies at the 8th and 11th holes and, though he recovered a bogey at the 13th with birdie at 15, Lyle dropped further shots at 16 and 18 to cost him the lead. He ended the day with a one under 71 (10 under overall) and only two shots off the lead at T4.
Rod Pampling, at one time joined Lyle in the lead at minus 10 but three times dropped back to nine under before late birdies at 16 and 17 saw him draw level with Ogilvy at T2.
After narrowly missed a birdie opportunity on the 17th Geoff Ogilvy tried to play defensively into the 18th hole played what he considered his “worst shot of the day”. After looking down the barrel of a final hole bogey, Ogilvy showed his class by chipping in for birdie. “Maybe it (the chip in) was good karma for missing all those putts during the day,” Ogilvy said.
It was where two wily veterans shined and threatened to upstage the young guns. Peter Senior, 49, who won the PGA at Coolum in 2003, finished the day at T8 and Euro PGA Tour player, Peter O’Malley, 43, finished well in the running at T4.
Lone American, Paul Goydos, finished the day at T19 and 5 under, after shooting an even par round. So, in a packed leaderboard, 10 players are within five shots of Goggin making for a fascinating final day. Geoff Ogilvy has a very hungry look in his eye as he searches for his first tournament win on home soil.
Be sure to log on to THP to find out who prevails. My crystal ball is saying the winner will be decided by play-off.