Date: December 06, 2008
Author: Luke Buttigieg at Coolum, Sportal

Goggin holds slender lead

Mathew Goggin still leads the Cadbury Schweppes Australian PGA Championship after three rounds at Coolum but 2006 US Open champion Geoff Ogilvy and last-start Sportsbet Masters champion Rod Pampling are ominously placed just a shot back. Goggin&aposs playing partner and fellow overnight leader Jarrod Lyle had led for much of the third round as well but after going 39 holes without a blemish from the 9th on the opening day the Victorian faltered coming home with three bogeys and shot 71. Goggin surrendered his share of the lead at the opening hole of the day, only to rejoin Lyle and Pampling at the top later but it wasn&apost until he finished with three birdies in four holes to shoot 69 that he vaulted clear on 12 under. After enduring what he said was a frustrating second round and then dealing with further setbacks when he missed gettable putts on Saturday afternoon, Ogilvy holed a nine iron from 50 feet on the last for a birdie to equal the round of the day, a five-under 67. That leaves him at minus 11 and level with Pampling, who had an inconsistent day of his own that included seven birdies and three bogeys en route to a 68, while Lyle, who matched the course record of 63 on Friday, is level with Peter O&aposMalley (67) at 10 under. On a packed leaderboard, 10 players are within five shots of Goggin, with Chris Gaunt (68) and joint first-round leader Tim Wilkinson tied for sixth on nine under and Scott Strange (69) and two-time champion Peter Senior (71) a shot further adrift. Wade Ormsby was another to shoot 69 and rounds out the top 10 on minus seven with Peter Wilson, who recovered from a front-nine stumble that included a double bogey at the 7th to shoot 72 and stay in the hunt. Lyle moved to minus 10 when he birdied the 2nd hole soon after Goggin had made bogey, and he had a putt for another birdie at the 3rd which lipped out before his par putt at the 4th fortunately dropped after doing almost a full circle around the cup. Pampling joined Lyle in the lead at minus 10 and soon after Goggin did likewise, but Goggin&aposs charge was halted by a run of seven pars while Pampling three times dropped back to nine under before late birdies at 16 and 17 saw him draw level with Ogilvy. All the while two-time Nationwide Tour winner Lyle was pushing clear with further birdies at the 8th and 11th holes and, though he recovered a bogey at the 13th with birdie at 15, further dropped shots at 16 and 18 cost him the lead. Goggin meanwhile had also dropped a shot at the 13th to slip to nine under and at one point three shots off the pace being set by Lyle, but he roared home with birdies at 15, 17 and 18. Just before Goggin went past Lyle, Ogilvy and Pampling, Ogilvy had finished his round in style with his chip-in on 18, capping off a round that included six birdies, a bogey and a couple of wayward short putts that could have given him a much lower score. The temperature at one pointed reached 33 degrees before dropping back into the high 20s as the relative humidity increased, while northeast winds gusted at up to 30kmh ahead of forecast storms on Saturday night. Earlier in the day six groups had to return and complete their rounds after darkness on Friday night prevented them finishing, and defending champion Peter Lonard was among the casualties as he missed the cut by the narrowest of margins. The three-time winner was left precariously placed at the event he has won in 2002, 2004 and 2007 when he posted a three-over 75 on Friday to finish on plus one, and he and seven other players including Scott Hend weren&apost among the 67 who did survive.