Sun, Feb 10, 2019 - Page 7 News List

Ormsby, Kaufman take charge at first Vic Open

AFP, GEELONG, Australia

The US’ Kim Kaufman celebrates sinking a bunker shot in the third round of the ISPS Handa Vic Open near Melbourne, Australia, yesterday.

Photo: AFP

Veteran Wade Ormsby yesterday took a two-shot lead at the ISPS Handa Vic Open as he searches for a second European Tour win, while American Kim Kaufman leads the women in a concurrent LPGA Tour event.

The pioneering tournament, south of Melbourne, is the only one in the world with male and female fields, which are playing in alternate groups on the same course and for equal prize money.

It has been cosanctioned this year by the European Tour and US-based LPGA Tour for the first time.

After some low scoring in the first two days, the players were yesterday met with brutal winds and a fierce band of early rain, making life difficult around the 13th Beach Links course.

England’s Callum Shinkwin and South Africa’s Justin Harding were undeterred, shooting impressive 66s, but the round of the day went to Australia’s Matt Stieger, who overcame the elements with a 65.

That left him tied for second with Shinkwin — two behind Australia’s 38-year-old Ormsby, who carded a 70 as he aims to add to his first European Tour success at last season’s Hong Kong Open, which he achieved on his 264th attempt.

“We got hammered with the rain for about three or four holes there, so it was really good to get through that stretch,” Asian Tour regular Stieger said after sinking seven birdies to stay in the hunt.

“No bogeys today, which is really nice. Just stuck to my game plan out there,” he added.

Overnight leaders Jason Scrivener and Nick Flanagan did not fare as well, both struggling to 76s, leaving them five adrift.

Kaufman, who is targeting her first LPGA Tour win, had a two-shot lead overnight, but by the sixth hole she had been reeled in by Japan’s Haru Nomura.

The American then holed a difficult birdie from the front bunker at the short par-three seventh — known locally as “the postage stamp” after the famous par-three at Royal Troon Golf Club in Scotland — to regain control.

She holed further birdies at the ninth and 13th before a double-bogey at the 14th tarnished her scorecard.

After a solid start, Nomura’s touch deserted her on the back nine, with three bogeys leaving her three off the pace.

France’s Celine Boutier shot a 69 to put herself in contention, two behind Kaufman and alongside Australian Su Oh in second place.

Taiwan’s Chien Pei-yun carded a third-round one-over 73 to finish the day tied for 21st, while Tsai Pei-ying and Teresa Lu had six-over 78s for the day, leaving them sharing 35th and 56th respectively.

Additional reporting by staff writer

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