Four birdies in five holes helped Scott Arnold take a share of the lead with Michael Hendry at the Victorian Open today with both at nine under par going into the final round.
Hendry blew out a six-shot lead to finish with 73 courtesy of a run of bogeys on the back nine.
In contrast, Arnold shot a 67.
“I was playing pretty solid early and didn’t get the putts to go in, but I had a chip in at eight and then I birdied nine, 11 and 12 and kept the ball rolling,” he said. “I had a few opportunities on the back nine but didn’t make them but I was happy all-in-all.”
He admitted he keep checking the leaderboard.
“I had a look and saw that I was seven back or something and he (Hendry) was -12 and I was -5 so I didn’t really worry about it,” he said. “I just kept going and whatever happens, happens. Then on the back nine I hit a couple of loose shots and was able to hole a few putts and keep going and evened up getting level, so we’ll see what happens tomorrow.”
He said today’s performance gave him some confidence for tomorrow’s final round.
“I’ve been playing really well for the last couple of months but I haven’t had any tournaments to play though, so it’s actually nice to bring the form into a tournament so I’m pretty pleased with that.”
And fortunately for Arnold, it’s a round of golf rather than a heavyweight title fight ahead, considering his difference in size to his playing partners – Hendry and Kurt Barnes.
Barnes tied for third place with fellow Aussie Matthew Ballard.
Hendry said: “I just drove it poorly and missed a few putts, whereas the first two days I’ve been putting really well and holing those eight-footers for par.
“But it didn’t happen today. I don’t feel like I did all that much wrong, just Scotty played really well and that’s the nature of the game – you can get caught pretty quickly and you don’t have to do that much wrong.”