Date: July 15, 2012
Author: Omnisport

Matteson leads, Senden challenges

Troy Matteson remains on course for his third PGA Tour victory as he takes a three-shot lead into the final round of the John Deere Classic, while Australian John Senden remains in the hunt, five strokes adrift of the leader. Matteson, though, has led after every round of the event at TPC Deere Run in Illinois, with a five-under-par 66 in the third round on Saturday taking him to 18-under overall. The 32-year-old began strongly with three birdies and no bogeys for his first nine holes. He dropped shots at 11 and 18 on the way back in, but made up for it with four more birdies, including two in succession at 16 and 17. Matteson is three strokes ahead of defending champion Steve Stricker, who matched Matteson&aposs 66 to go outright second at 15 under. Stricker must now make up the deficit on Matteson during Sunday&aposs final round if he is to win what would be a remarkable fourth consecutive title at the competition. Former US Masters champion Zach Johnson also made a move on day three, with a five-under 66 earning him a share of third, alongside fellow American Brian Harman at 14 under. Senden, who claimed his only PGA Tour victory to date at the John Deere Classic in 2006, sits tied fifth at 13 under, alongside American Billy Hurley III, as the Australian followed up a seven-under second round with a four-under 67 on Saturday. Senden appeared poised for a big push as he eagled the par-five second hole and produced another two birdies to turn for home at four under. But the Queenslander couldn&apost build on that, despite producing a bogey-free back nine. Hurley, meanwhile, shot the joint-lowest round on Saturday, as a seven-under 64 saw him race 26 places up the leaderboard. After Senden, Stuart Appleby is the best-placed Australian at 11-under overall, following a four-under 67 on Saturday that included six birdies but also two bogeys. New Zealand&aposs Danny Lee (72) and Australian Nathan Green (72) appear out of contention at five-under overall. At the Scottish Open Italian Francesco Molinari will take a one-shot lead into the final round of the Scottish Open after a five-under 67 on Saturday as the Australian contingent struggled to make an impact. Molinari – who sits on 17-under overall through three rounds at Castle Stuart Golf Links – leads by a stroke to Denmark&aposs Anders Hansen, with another Dane Soren Kjeldsen tied for third, with Scot Marc Warren on 15 under. Hansen carded a seven-under 65 to make it back-to-back bogey free rounds, while both Kjeldsen and Warren went one better with rounds of 64. A group of four are tied for fifth on 14 under, including local hopes Martin Laird and Peter Whiteford, alongside American Phil Mickelson and Swede Alexander Noren. Defending champion Luke Donald is four shots off the pace on 13 under in a tie for ninth, level with six others. France&aposs Thomas Levet is among those tied with Donald, but he could be much further up the leaderboard had he not carded a double-bogey on the par-five 18th. Spaniard Rafael Cabrera-Bello has emulated Hansen&aposs efforts with consecutive bogey-free rounds to sit equal ninth, and within sight of the lead. Molinari is aiming to achieve a rare feat this week – as he is looming to win the same title his brother Edoardo claimed back in 2010 when the tournament was held at Loch Lomond Golf Club. Richard Green is the best-placed Australian on 12 under in a tie for 16th, after he shot his best round of the tournament on Saturday – a five-under 67. Marcus Fraser is the only other Australian remaining in the field, and he is tied for 53rd on seven under overall, after carding a three-under 69.