Date: March 28, 2009
Author: Sportal and PA Sport

Allenby in the hunt

Robert Allenby is in a tie for sixth after four-over-par round of 74 in the third round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational in Florida. The Australian began the day in a tie for third after a sensation round of 65 on Friday, but like most of the field Allenby found the going much tougher in the tough conditions at the Bay Hill Club Course. Only four players went under par with Sean O Hair the clubhouse leader at minus seven, five strokes ahead of Tiger Woods. O&aposHair said he was trying not to think about his five-stroke cushion or the best player in the world. “Obviously a five-shot lead is great,” O&aposHair said, “but I&aposm not going to focus on my lead, I&aposm not going to focus on the fact that I&aposm leading a golf tournament. “The fact of the matter is there&aposs one more round of golf in this event, and I&aposm going to focus on it like I would Thursday. “I&aposm going to come in and do my routines, and I&aposm not going to play anybody else, I&aposm just going to play the golf course, and like I said, play shot to shot and add them up at the end.” The par-70, 7,239-yard course was a challenge on Saturday as gusting winds hampered good scores in central Florida and overnight leader O&aposHair was one of only five players to end the round under par for the tournament on a day when only four players among the remaining 74 managed to break 70. Woods looms at two under having also shot a 71, putting him in the final group on the last day of a tournament for the first time since returning to the PGA Tour last month, although he is expecting another grind. “We&aposll see what happens,” Woods said. “It may soften up, the wind may blow, it&aposs supposed to be a little bit cooler. “We&aposll see what happens when we get out here, what kind of conditions we&aposre going to have, whether we&aposre able to shoot low scores or not or we&aposre going to have to play like we have been the last three days.” Woods had run into trouble at the par-four 16th where he found the right greenside rough with his second shot and discovered a spectator had picked up his ball and then dropped it to the ground. He punched the ball out to the edge of water on the other side of the green and saw his chip hold up 10 feet from the hole before taking a five. There was further woe at the 18th when his second shot out of primary rough plugged in a grass bank short of the green between the fairway and a narrow strip of lakeside beach. A fruitless five-minute search took the world No.1 back to a drop zone in the fairway 148 yards out and Woods sent his fourth shot to the green 25 feet from the hole. Woods, though, holed his putt to escape with a bogey that was celebrated with a trademark fist pump. “I thought I played well all day,” he said. “Unfortunately I finished up at over par for the day, but I played better than that. “The shot in on 16 I had just a really good tee shot. I can&apost believe it went that far through the wind, and then made bogey from there. “The golf course is playing so hard today. I had to be so patient with the round. No one is tearing this place apart. “The wind is so blustery out there, it&aposs hard to get your distance correct, and then once you get on the green the wind is blowing the ball on the green so you&aposve got to allow for wind on putts from five, six feet. It&aposs just a tough day.” With tournament organisers returning to three-player groups for the final round and off split tees in anticipation of rain and thunderstorms on Sunday, Woods and O&aposHair will be joined by former Masters champion Zach Johnson, whose two-under 68 moved him to one under for the week. First-round leader Jason Gore will also start on Sunday at one under alongside Japan&aposs Ryuji Imada, having finished his third round with a bogey and double bogey on his way to a 74. Imada fired a 73. Brandt Snedeker fired the low round of the day, a 67, to reach level par in a four-way tie for sixth place with fellow Americans Pat Perez and Scott Verplank and Allenby. Ireland&aposs Padraig Harrington and Sweden&aposs Daniel Chopra are part of seven-man group at one over par in a tie for 10th place. Denmark&aposs Soren Kjeldsen warmed up for his Masters debut at Augusta – one he earned after an amazing last-day drama in December – with a dazzling 62 in Seville. The 10-under-par round broke the Real course record by one and shaved a stroke off his lowest ever score on the European Tour, and it also took him from five behind into a one-shot lead over Scot David Drysdale at the Andalucian Open. Kjeldsen, winner of the Volvo Masters in November, grabbed seven birdies in a row, only one short of the Tour record, and then three holes later made a 45-foot eagle putt on the long 16th to reach 14 under par. He was six clear at that point, but Drysdale played the last eight in six under, also making eagle at 16 and sinking birdie putts of four and 30 feet on the final two greens.