Date: November 02, 2008

Green in with a chance

Richard Green is in a tie for eighth position after playing nine holes of his third round at the rain-interrupted Volvo Masters at Valderrama. Green is one-under through nine holes of the third round to be at even-par overall, five shots behind leaders Sergio Garcia and Soren Kjeldsen. The only other Aussie in the field, Scott Strange is down in a tie for 32nd place at eight-over par after 10 holes of his third round. Lee Westwood still hopes to have something to shout about before he has his tonsils out on Monday – a second European Order of Merit title. Westwood needs to win the season-ending tournament to have a chance of pipping Swede Robert Karlsson and a brilliant finish to his rain-delayed second round on Saturday re-ignited his challenge. The man who ended Colin Montgomerie&aposs seven-year reign as No.1 in 2000 played the last 11 holes in six under par to climb into a tie for second place only two behind Dane Soren Kjeldsen. And that became only one behind in the six holes of his third round which were possible before another downpour suspended play again. If Westwood wins the tournament on Sunday – the weather will dictate whether it is decided over three or four rounds – Karlsson will have to be second or third to retain top spot on the money list. But after 11 holes of his round the Swede was down in a share of 28th spot on five over. When the hold up came Kjeldsen had been caught for the second time in the day by Sergio Garcia. They were five under, with Westwood four under and Londoner Anthony Wall three under. Padraig Harrington&aposs hopes of a second Order of Merit crown in three years were not over yet either as he turned in a superb 32 to climb to two over and joint 18th. He can finish in the top two and overtake Karlsson, although a Westwood victory would deny him. Less than four hours&apos play had been possible on Friday and with more rain falling as the tournament resumed at 8.30am there remained the possibility that it might even be cut to 36 holes. However, conditions improved and with little or no wind, so did the scoring. Westwood&aposs 68 owed something to a stroke of good luck, though. After coming back from three early bogeys with four birdies in five holes around the turn, he went against his caddie&aposs advice in trying for the green in two at the long 17th. The ball was pulled left, but so far left that it stopped on the bank of the lake rather than in the water and from there he chipped to 15 feet and made it. After adding another birdie at the last he stated: “It was my fault. Alastair (McLean) wanted me to hit six iron, but me being me I got the three wood out and hit a terrible shot. “I played the wrong shot, but I got lucky and got away with it. The key was playing a good chip – I could easily have put it into the water.” Westwood says his operation in two days&apos time is the first of his life, and the 35-year-old has never even had a stitch before. Harrington felt the improved weather during the morning had done him no favours. He had played 13 holes in far tougher conditions yesterday before the stoppage came, then returned to par the remaining five for a 71. That was five shots better than his opening effort, but he was down in 26th place and said: “Everybody seems to be making birdies, which would not have been the case yesterday.” There were those who found it strange that players had not been sent straight out again for the third round. Instead officials decided to wait until everybody had played 36 holes and then sent them out in again in three-balls off the first and 10th tees. Harrington, who really needed the event to be four rounds to get into Order of Merit contention, had waited from 10am until after 2pm to start his third round and commented: “I can&apost understand why they wasted four hours.” Tournament director David Garland said he had considered a straight turnaround, but decided against. Play was called off for the day at 6pm, leaving the final group with 30 holes to try to complete on Sunday. Third Round of the Volvo Masters (Par 71) Play suspended -5: Sergio Garcia 68 70 (after 7 holes), Soren Kjeldsen 65 71 (6) -4: Lee Westwood 70 68 (6) -3: Anthony Wall 69 69 (6) -2: Thomas Levet 71 68 (7) -1: Martin Kaymer 73 70 (8), Darren Clarke 71 69 (7) E: Richard Green (Australia) 73 70 (9), Steve Webster 72 71 (9), Markus Brier 72 69 (8), Robert-Jan Derksen 72 70 (8), Graeme McDowell 72 70 (8), Paul Casey 73 68 (7), Peter Hanson 72 69 (7) +1: Soren Hansen 74 71 (10), David Lynn 69 73 (8) +2: Padraig Harrington 76 71 (11), Andres Romero 74 72 (11), Simon Dyson 72 68 (7) Also: +8: Scott Strange (Australia) 76 74 (10) +10: Mark Brown (New Zealand) 75 77 (9)