Date: March 30, 2008

Lonard leads, Senden in contention

Peter Lonard has a share of the lead but his compatriot John Senden has made the most noise on a rain-shortened third day of the New Orleans Classic. Lonard is one of four players locked at eight-under-par partway through his third round. The laidback Australian was one-under-par for the day after only four holes when lightning and storms forced players off the course. Four hours later the day was abandoned with the final round and the remainder of the majority of third rounds to be played on Monday morning (AEDT). Lonard heads a host of Australian players still in the hunt at the $7 million event at TPC Louisiana. He began the day in second place after a faltering finish to round two, but soon drew level with overnight leader Briny Baird, Woody Austin and Nicholas Thompson. Senden&aposs six-under 66 had a bit of everything and left him one shot adrift of the current leaders. His front nine included birdies at the 2nd, 3rd, 5th and 6th hole, punctuated by a bogey at the par-four 4th. He got on another roll on the way home and birdied the 12th, 13th and 14th before a double bogey at 17 robbed him of momentum and a fine close to an impressive round. Obviously not fazed by the stutter, Senden birdied the 18th to sign for his best round of the week and the equal-lowest completed score of the day. “It was a good day for scoring, a little bit of light rain,” Senden said. “The golf course is playing a little softer today, no breeze at all. I think there&aposs room for good scores out there today.” “I&aposm going to work on a few little things, especially short game, keep it smooth, and I&aposm looking forward to another great day tomorrow.” Steve Elkington is two-under-par after eight holes of his third round and tied for fifth with Senden while Nathan Green is two-under through 10 holes and a couple of shots off the pace.