Ogilvy right in the hunt

Sunday, 3 March 2013
Geoff Ogilvy
Geoff Ogilvy

Michael Thompson joined fellow American Luke Guthrie at the top of the leaderboard with one round to play at the Honda Classic on Saturday as Australian Geoff Ogilvy finds himself in a share of third just two strokes off the pace.

Thompson, though, carded an even 70 to stay eight under at the PGA National Champion Course in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.

But overnight leader Guthrie, who shot a scintillating 63 on Friday, was left to rue three bogeys in a third-round one-over 71.

Englishman Lee Westwood and Ogilvy were tied for third, two shots off the pace following rounds of even-par 70 apiece.

Having posted six birdies in an impressive second round, Ogilvy found that sort of form had deserted him on Saturday morning as he bogeyed three of the first four holes.

But Ogilvy still managed another four birdies to go with one more bogey in his round as he signed off on an inconsistent third round in Florida.

Americans Rickie Fowler and Charles Howell III, meanwhile, were a further shot adrift of Ogilvy and Westwood in equal fifth, while South Korean YE Yang led a group of five players in a tie for seventh.

Yang shot the best round of the day with a bogey-free three-under 67 that included three birdies to join the likes of England's Justin Rose and Swede Peter Hanson at four under.

Tiger Woods made it three straight rounds of even par to find himself tied for 32nd, however he could have been closer to the leaders after going three over on his back nine.

David Lynn of England and American Brandt Jobe posted impressive rounds of 68, climbing 46 places to a share of 19th.

America's Billy Horschel, on the other hand, fell 61 spots to equal 72nd following a horror 11-over 81.

Horschel's day began well enough - he was one under through four - but he proceeded to finish with three double-bogeys and six bogeys to undo all his good work through his first 40 holes of the week.

While Ogilvy was somewhat inconsistent, he wasn't alone as fellow Aussie Steven Bowditch finished with a two-over 72 that included six bogeys and four birdies as he found himself at one over for the tournament.

Bowditch is still one shot ahead of compatriots Matt Jones (72) and Greg Chalmers (73) while Cameron Percy (77) is at four over for the tournament having dropped 38 places on Saturday.

Percy is one stroke ahead of fellow Aussie Marc Leishman (77).

Over in outh Africa, Darren Fichardt produced a scintillating third round to find himself in a four-way tie for top spot at the Tshwane Open on Saturday in a tournament where Daniel Gaunt and Scott Arnold were the only Aussies to make the cut.

Fichardt, though, was forced to complete a delayed second round early on Saturday but still blitzed the field during his third round with eight birdies helping him post an eight-under 64.

The South African birdied his opening hole as he went bogey-free on day three, which also saw a two-hour delay for bad weather at the Copperleaf Golf and Country Estate.

"I'm really chuffed with how I finished up today," said Fichardt after reaching 16-under overall for the event co-sanctioned by the European Tour and Sunshine Tour.

"I was upset with yesterday's round and I fell back to four behind. I wanted to catch that up and get into the mix for tomorrow.

"I was just hitting the right shots at the right time and making crucial putts. Par-saving putts. If I do hit a bad shot I recover from it and that's what adds up to good scores, so I'm very happy with my game right now."

Overnight leader and countryman Charl Coetzee carded a four-under 68, fellow South African Dawie Van Der Walt hit a five-under 67, while Chilean Mark Tullo posted a five-under 67 round to join Fichardt at 16 under.

South Africa's Louis De Jager ended the day one stroke off the pace after recording a seven-under 65 third round.

Peter Uihlein (68) of the United States was next best at the close of play on 13 under for the tournament.

Englishman David Howell (67) did enough to claim sole possession of seventh place, a further shot back, while South Africa's Graham Van Der Merwe (68) was 12 under on day three.

Oliver Bekker of South Africa (67) was five strokes behind the leaders in share of ninth position, alongside countryman Jake Roos (69) and English duo Graeme Storm (67) and Richard Finch (69).

Gaunt, though, is a long way off the pace at two under for the tournament after signing for a one-over 73 on Saturday.

But Gaunt was still somewhat luckier than compatriot Arnold, who posted a six-over 78 in his third round to be two over heading into the last round.