Date: March 23, 2008

Millar 12 off Otto

Matthew Millar is 12 strokes behind round-three leader Hennie Otto despite carding his best round (68) at the Madeira Islands Open so far. Millar rattled off five birdies and conceded a bogey at the 10th hole on his way to a four-under par third round and the Australian now sits on three under overall in a tie for 15th position. South African Otto has a five-stroke lead with one round to play in the tournament. Chasing his first victory on the circuit, and not even the holder of a Tour card at the moment, the 31-year-old on Saturday added a third successive 67 for a 15-under-par total. Scotland&aposs Alastair Forsyth, whose only victory came in the 2002 Malaysian Open, shot 66 to improve from seventh to second. There was an even bigger move from Londoner Gary Clark, another without a Tour card at present. His best-of-the-week 64 sent him charging through the field from 19th to third. Pre-tournament favorite Bradley Dredge, the only player in the world&aposs top 125 taking part and needing to win to move back into the top 50 a week before the cut-off for the Masters, is only 20th and 13 back. Otto is best known to European golf fans for two things – leading The Open and throwing his clubs in a river. His &aposriver&apos tantrum came in 2001 after he missed the cut in the South African Masters. So disgusted was he by a round of 80 that he broke every one of his clubs in half and then threw them off a bridge. Two years later, however, he played the first major championship of his career at Sandwich – and nobody could match his opening 68. He went on to finish joint 10th. The closest he has come to winning on the European Tour was at the end of that year. He stormed into the lead with a closing 65 at the Hong Kong Open, but Padraig Harrington then birdied the last two holes to pip him. Otto lost his Tour card at the end of the 2004 season – but with all the stars away this week, his 141st place on last year&aposs Order of Merit was good enough to get him into the Madeira field. Third Round of the Madeira Islands Open (Par 72): -15: Henie Otto 67 67 67 -10: Alastair Forsyth 70 70 66 -9: Gary Clark 72 71 64 -8: Michael Lorenzo-Vera 68 71 69, Fredrik Widmark 68 70 70 -7: John Bickerton 69 72 68, Adilson Da Silva 71 68 70, Gary Orr 72 70 67, Sven Struver 66 72 71 -5: Andrew Oldcorn 71 71 69, Miles Tunnicliff 71 69 71, Alvaro Velasco 73 70 68 -4: Mattias Eliasson 70 72 70, Martin Wiegele 73 71 68 -3: Sion Bebb 71 74 68, Sebastien Delagrange 71 75 67, Peter Lawrie 75 69 69, Matthew Millar (Australia) 75 70 68, Nicolas Vanhootegem 70 76 67 Also: -2: Gareth Paddison (New Zealand) 70 75 69 +3: Wade Ormsby (Australia) 73 73 73 +5: Steve Alker (New Zealand) 76 70 75