Fiji, August 19: Australian Wade Ormsby rode on a hot putter to sign for the day’s lowest round of six-under-par 66 and grab the outright lead by one shot following the penultimate round of the Fiji International on Saturday.
The 37-year-old Ormsby, who claimed his career breakthrough on the Asian Tour in 2013, put himself in prime position for a second title after moving atop the leaderboard with a three-day total of 10-under-par 206 at the Natadola Bay Championship Golf Course.
Starting the round three shots off the pace, Ormsby reeled in four pars before dropping a shot on the fifth. He recovered strongly with four straight birdies from the eighth before adding three more birdies on his way home for a superb back-nine 31.
Australian Jason Norris, who held a share of the overnight lead, carded a 70 to sit in second place while countryman James Marchesani stayed a further shot back in third on 208 at the A$1.5 million (approximately US$1.14 million) event.
Zimbabwe’s Scott Vincent carded a second consecutive 68 to trail by three in fourth place alongside Australian duo Peter Wilson (70) and Scott Hend (72). Overnight co-leader Gavin Green of Malaysia returned with a 73 to slip to tied-seventh on 210.
The Fiji International is tri-sanctioned for the first time by the Asian Tour, European Tour and ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia.
Did you know?
- Ormsby claimed his breakthrough Asian Tour win at the 2013 Panasonic Open India.
- Ormsby navigated his way around the greens with only 26 putts. He hit a total of nine fairways and missed four greens in regulation.
- Ormsby is a member on all three Tours – Asian Tour, European Tour and the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia.
- Norris played on the Asian Tour in 2009. He missed three cuts out of 11 starts that season and his best result was a tied-15th place finish at the SAIL Open in India. He returned to the Asian Tour Qualifying School in 2015 but did not make the mark.
- Norris, 44, is a three-time winner on his local Tour. His otherwise perfect round of five birdies and 12 pars was marred by a triple-bogey on 16.
- Marchesani’s back-nine 30, highlighted by three closing birdies, is the best nine-hole score in the third round of the Fiji International.
- Norris and Marchesani both amassed 27 putts.
- A total of 11 Australian players are sitting inside top-10 on the leaderboard after round three of the Fiji International.
- Vincent was named the Asian Tour’s rookie of the year in 2016 after he finished the season in 28th place on the Order of Merit, thanks to two top-10 results.
Wade Ormsby (Aus) – Third Round 66 (-6), Total 206 (-10)
It was a bit of a surprise coming up the last, I hadn’t seen too many leaderboards for the day but obviously very happy with it. I didn’t think I would be in that position after seven holes, I was getting a bit frustrated but the putter started to get a bit hot so I started to move in the right direction.
I think everyone who has played golf knows that when the putts start dropping you get happier out there. I had Richard on my bag and he was just saying to try and stay cool, so that happened and I made a ton of birdies.
I heard a lot of stories about how hard it can blow here and I think I have played it in all different conditions this week. On Tuesday, it blew in this direction then after Wednesday it went back to normal prevailing wind. You just have to play each shot as it comes and try to control you ball as well as you can.
I have done a pretty good job striking it this week, which is important around a place like this when the wind gets up. I have led one and I won that. You obviously learn every time you play and you’re around the front so I am always trying to learn that little bit more. Even at 37, you are always learning how to manage yourself and your emotions.
I feel like I am playing quite solid, I haven’t made many bogeys for the week and once I got my putter going I really started moving forward. I feel like I can keep doing what I am doing, it will just be if other guys get going as well and chase me.
Scott Vincent (Zim) – Third Round 68 (-4), Total 209 (-7)
I started well with a birdie on the first. It’s always nice to get to a quick start like that. I just felt like I played really solid. I hit a lot of greens and fairways and I put myself in a lot of good positions. I put myself in under-par and ended up with a four-under. It was a good day.
My flight mates James (Marchesani) and Rahil (Gangjee) were making a lot of birdies out there too. It was nice feeding off each other out there. It was good to see. When you see the ball goes in, I think it helps you.
It’s been nice here in Fiji. I love it. It’s unbelievable. It’s nice to get a day with not much wind as well. I thought the scores were going to be a lot lower. I think that’s everyone’s expectations. It’s surprising that we don’t see many guys in the double digits but I’m happy with where I am.
The year’s been ok. I played a lot of golf. Hopefully I am moving in the right direction. It’s always good to play well in a big tournament like this. It’s great that we get play against these guys from the other two Tours. It’s a great opportunity.
The season on the Asian Tour has been pretty slow. I played really well last year but this year, it hasn’t been as good but hopefully we’re headed in some good form and we can finish the season well. It’s a good position to be in right now so hopefully I can finish off well and cap a good result tomorrow.
Scott Hend (Aus) – Third Round 72 (even par), Total 209 (-7)
It was a frustrating day out there. I missed only two greens but made only two birdies today. I just couldn’t make putts. Hopefully I can make some tomorrow. The conditions were actually quite nice today. It was nice and warm. Everything was great.
I just couldn’t get the hang of the greens today for some reasons. Hopefully that will come to me tomorrow. I might go and hit a few putts now and see what’s going on. We will just have a go again tomorrow. It was nice to finish with two straight birdies on 17 and 18 to get back to even par
Gavin Green (Mas) – Third Round 73 (+1), Total 210 (-6)
It was a rough and grinding day for me. Hopefully tomorrow will be better. I hung in there well. I am still within striking distance.
I had a couple of unlucky breaks today. The flyer on the seventh hole which led to a bogey and a good shot on the ninth and finished up in the hazard also ended up with bogey.
It was a hard one to take in but I stayed as patient as I could out there. Tomorrow is a brand new day and we will see how it goes.
Scores after round 3 of the Fiji International being played at the par 72, 6575 Metres Natadola Bay CGC course (am – denotes amateur):
206 – Wade Ormsby (AUS) 69-71-66.
207 – Jason Norris (AUS) 69-68-70.
208 – James Marchesani (AUS) 71-70-67.
209 – Scott Vincent (ZIM) 73-68-68, Peter Wilson (AUS) 68-71-70, Scott Hend (AUS) 71-66-72.
210 – Stephen Leaney (AUS) 71-69-70, Gavin Green (MAS) 68-69-73, Daniel Pearce (NZL) 66-71-73.
211 – Terry Pilkadaris (AUS) 70-73-68, Dale Brandt-Richards (AUS) 69-74-68, Michael Sim (AUS) 69-72-70, Rahil Gangjee (IND) 69-72-70, Harry Bateman (NZL) 74-66-71, David McKenzie (AUS) 68-71-72.
212 – Mike Weir (CAN) 72-71-69, Phachara Khongwatmai (THA) 72-72-68, Shunya Takeyasu (JPN) 72-72-68.
About the Fiji International
To be held from 17-20 August the Fiji International will be played at Natadola Bay Championship Golf Course which boasts breathtaking views of the Coral Coast and is home to the Natadola Beach Land Estate.
Enticed by the tropical destination, the Fiji International has attracted some of the world’s best golfers since its inaugural staging in 2014 including Fijian hero and three time Major champion Vijay Singh, 2016 champion Brandt Snedeker, 2015 champion Matt Kuchar, 2014 champion Steven Jeffress, Steven Bowditch, Boo Weekley, Nick Price, Robert Allenby, Heath Slocum, Liang Wenchong, and Anirban Lahiri.
In 2017, the Fiji International continues to have a global presence confirming its position as an integral tournament in the South Pacific region, with the tournament being tri-sanctioned by the European Tour, Asian Tour and ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia.
A Pacific paradise, the Fiji International also boasts some of the most unique hospitality options in world golf with the par-3 8th hole providing the perfect vantage point to watch the golf, whilst socialising on the beach.
More than just a golf tournament, the Fiji International aims to leave a lasting legacy for golf in the Pacific region, with the PGA of Australia supporting initiatives to introduce and grow the game in Fiji.
Owned by SEL and the PGA of Australia, the Fiji International is proudly supported by the Fijian Government, Tourism Fiji and the InterContinental Fiji Golf Resort & Spa as the official resort of the tournament until 2017.
For more information about the Fiji International please visit fijiinternational.com.
About Asian Tour
As the official sanctioning body for professional golf in Asia, the Asian Tour leads the development of golf across the region, enhancing the careers of its members while maintaining a commitment to the integrity of the game. The Asian Tour, through its membership of the International Federation of PGA Tours, is the only recognised pan-Asian professional golf tour in Asia. This unique feature positions the Asian Tour at the pinnacle of professional golf in Asia; providing its events with Official World Ranking status. Tour Partners include ECCO (Official Footwear Sponsor), FENIX XCell (Official Apparel Supplier), Titleist (Official Web Partner), Bloomberg TV (Official International Media Partner), Bloomberg Businessweek Chinese (Official International Media Partner), Panasonic (Official Consumer Electronics) and Rolex (Official Timekeeper). Sentosa, Singapore is the Home of the Asian Tour which also has an office in Kuala Lumpur.
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