PERTH • Local favourite Brett Rumford shot a four-under 68 in the third round of the inaugural World Super 6 in Perth yesterday to claim the top seeding for today's final round match play knockout.
The Australian hit seven birdies, one bogey and one double-bogey at the Lake Karrinyup Country Club to move to 17-under 199 and ensure a place in the last 16 on the final day along with seven other players.
Former British Open champion Louis Oosthuizen, who hit a brilliant eagle at the par-four 13th, was also among the top eight after shooting a 67 to join Jason Scrivener (66), Austin Connelly (66), Adam Blyth (68), Lucas Herbert (69) and Steven Jeffress (70) at 12-under after 54 holes.
Jake Higginbottom became the sixth Australian in the top eight, taking the place on countback, after firing a 66.
After three rounds of stroke play, the event will end today with 24 players competing at match play in six-hole play-offs until only the champion remains.
"You are playing an opponent one-on-one, so you have to take note of their mistakes, errors and, you know, the pressures good shots will put on you," Rumford told reporters. "It's an internal battle but also a physical one. So yeah, it's tough match play."
In Adelaide, American Lizette Salas seized the outright lead after the third round of the Australian Open as world No. 1 Lydia Ko fell even further behind.
Salas, ranked 71, stormed to 10-under 209 with three birdies in her final five holes for a two-under 71 in the LPGA-sanctioned event.
She finished with five birdies and two bogeys to lead by two strokes from Australians Su Oh (68) and Sarah Jane Smith (74) along with Thailand's Pornanong Phatlum (73).
Ko began the day nine shots off the lead at even-par for the tournament and subsequently failed to make any ground and was in joint 35th (219) heading into the final 18 holes after carding a 73.
"I didn't hit my drives very well compared to the last two days," the 19-year-old New Zealander said.
"My putting stroke was good but not many putts went in. Hopefully I'm just saving it up for tomorrow.
"I've got one day to go. Hopefully it'll all come together. You just never know."
REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE
WORLD SUPER 6 PERTH
Day 4: StarHub Ch204, noon
WOMEN'S AUSTRALIAN OPEN
Day 4: Singtel TV Ch115 & StarHub Ch209, 10am