Date: February 24, 2008
Author: Sportal

Lonard leads Aussie charge

Peter Lonard has fired a six-under par 64 to move into a tie for sixth position after the third round of the Mayakoba Golf Classic in Mexico. The Australian carded four birdies and a solitary bogey on both his front and back nine holes to move to seven-under par for the tournament. But the man to catch is American Brian Gay after he made a late push on Sunday to take a five shot lead into the final round. Entering the round a shot out of the top spot, Gay fired an eight-under-par 62 and stormed away from the field. At 15-under par, Gay leads Steve Marino by five shots. Matt Kuchar and 36-hole leader John Merrick are another shot back. Looking for his first career win, Gay obviously is in pretty unfamiliar territory. He has a 54-hole lead for just the second time in his career. The first time was at the Colonial in 2004, when he dropped from a three-way tie for the lead to a tie for 14th after playing the final round at five-over. “I just have to keep doing what I did today. It would be nice right now to just start the fourth round,” Gay said. “I&aposve never had a five-shot lead, so I don&apost know. I&aposll try to play my game as best I can, you know, and just play smart.” Gay and Merrick were tied for the lead through 10 holes before Gay caught fire down the stretch. Back-to-back birdies at numbers. 13 and 14 got Gay rolling and he closed his round with three consecutive birdies to take a commanding lead. “I had an easy birdie on 13, the par-five, and made a nice putt on 14,” Gay said. “The chip shot on 15 really kept me going. “I hit the wrong club on the par-three and came up short down into the left. Hit a great chip to will three feet and saved par. That kind of kept me going. Then hit it close on the last two holes, six feet and four feet.” Marino is at 10-under 200 after a six-under 64. Kuchar also signed for a 64 and Merrick carded a one-under 69. Roland Thatcher shot the round of the day, a scorching nine-under par 61.