Queenslander Adam Blyth left his lucky charm off the bag today, not that it had any effect on his near-dominance of the NSW Open at Stonecutters Ridge.
Starting the day at -16, four shots clear of his nearest rival, Blyth had to make do without his caddy girlfriend Nicole Kelsey after his father Stephen flew down from the Sunshine State to take up the duty.
With the toughest of the day’s conditions to contend with Blyth started with a trio of birdies at 3, 4 and 5, before a rare bogey at 9. But a brace of birdies on the back nine restored his four-shot lead heading into the final day, shooting a six-under 66 to be at -22 for the tournament.
“It was tough out there today, It was strange to get a score like that, and satisfying though. It was a completely different golf course today, but scores were good because some of the holes were downwind,” he said.
Four shots back is Victorian Peter Wilson, who shot five-under playing in the final group to be at -18. Wilson said it was “hard out there today. But tomorrowI just have to go as low as I can to catch Blythy. I think I can, but you just don’t know what is going to happen. If it’s not as windy, it can be done."
Other standout rounds came from the amateurs, who continue to impress both in numbers and the quality of their golf at Stonecutters.
Connor Syme, the 21-year-old Scot who already has a position in next week’s Australian Open, played beyond his years with the day’s best round, an eight-under 64.
Five birdies on the front, four on the back and just the lone bogey at 16 (again) left him with his best round of the year of 64. “I’m happy to be in with a chance tomorrow,” Syme said.
“I’m absolutely delighted with that. It’s my lowest round of the year. I’m buzzing.”
Asked what he thought he would have to shoot tomorrow to win the event, he said. “It depends on Adam (Blyth). Adam’s up there at (-22), and depends on what he’s got. But if he doesn’t get too far ahead, the guys at -15 are in with a chance, for sure.”
Standout amateur Brett Coletta also worked his way back into contention with another strong performance, this time a five-under round that included six birdies. He is part of a group tied for fifth alongside Jarryd Felton and Rory Bourke.
“It was a strange day,” Coletta said. “It was blustery, and it was hard to pick your number especially down the back of the course and trust it.
“I’m happy with my score. I’d probably struck it better yesterday, but my misses were better today hence the score. I was impressed with my round today, and I’m looking forward to tomorrow."