Date: May 10, 2009
Author: PA Sport and Sportal

O’Malley fires in Rome

Peter O&aposMalley roared into contention with a seven-under par 64 to move to minus seven after the third round of the Italian Open in Rome. O&aposMalley sits four shots off the pace following a brilliant round in which he reeled off six birdies in seven holes to follow on from his second-round 68. Fellow Australian Andrew Tampion is a further stroke back after a steady one-under par 70 while Brett Rumford is at minus two after a round of 74 Argentina&aposs Daniel Vancsik has a small lead atop the leaderboard after returning to the course at nearly 8pm to bogey two of the last three holes after rain interruptions Vancsik, chasing his second European Tour victory, had been two in front when a thunderstorm halted play at 4.10pm. But when play resumed he failed to get up and down from a bunker at the 16th and three-putted the 17th. He was in severe danger of dropping another stroke at the last after pulling his drive into thick rough, but got down in a pitch-and-pitch for par. As a result the 32-year-old, winner of the 2007 Madeira Island Open, goes into the final round 11 under par, one in front of Finland&aposs Roope Kakko. The pair ranked 420th and 472nd in the world scored 69 and 68 respectively, little-known Challenge Tour player Kakko also bogeying the 17th on the resumption. Two behind in joint third are Northern Ireland&aposs Gareth Maybin and South African Thomas Aiken, Maybin making a remarkable birdie on the 17th after double-bogeying the 16th. From the left-hand rough the Belfast golfer&aposs approach with a fairway wood skipped the bunker in front of the green and rolled up to 15 feet, from where he sank the putt. Vancsik commented: “I was really unlucky with the timing of the break. I was feeling very confident, but lost concentration when we went back. “I&aposm still happy to be leading and confident about tomorrow.” American John Daly returned a third successive 69 and at six under is in a tie for 11th in the second event of his comeback after four months out. The former Open champion was given a six-month US Tour ban in November after being put in jail to sober up and has come down from 20 to 16 stones since undergoing lap-band stomach surgery three months ago. Seven players had held at least a share of the lead earlier in the day, but halfway pacesetter Vancsik opened a gap again with a superb burst around the turn. After a birdie on the seventh he almost sank his approach to the 379-yard ninth, pitched to three feet at the next and splashed out of sand to six feet for a third successive birdie on the long 11th. A sixth birdie of the round then came at the 449-yard 14th, but Kakko, who received a late call-up to the tournament, had six birdies as well in his first 15 holes. Aiken birdied four of the last six holes and had eight in all, but also double-bogeyed the 16th. He is just back from a week in a game reserve “doing absolutely nothing”, adding: “You basically sleep in the day and then go out.” “I think you need to have a balance. You can get stuck in to taking golf too seriously. Just being there is special – seeing lions and leopards and various other species is a bonus.” Daly was 31st in Spain last week and is staying in Europe to play next week&aposs Irish Open, then the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth and European Open in Kent. He has now broken 70 in his last four rounds and commented: “I don&apost know what other people were expecting of me coming back, but I just hope those close to me are happy.” “I&aposm a little frustrated, though, because I haven&apost had any consistency with my putter yet.” Leading British player is England&aposs Robert Rock at eight under, who only two days he destroyed his putter in anger after an opening 72. Third Round of the BMW Italian Open -11: Daniel Vancsik 68 65 69 -10: Roope Kakko 71 64 68 -9: Thomas Aiken 68 70 66, Gareth Maybin 64 70 70 -8: Raphael Jacquelin 67 70 68, Robert Rock 72 65 68 -7: Thomas Bjorn 71 67 68, Julien Clement 70 67 69, Ake Nilsson 68 69 69, Peter O Malley (Australia) 74 68 64 -6: John Daly 69 69 69, Robert Dinwiddie 72 67 68, Michael McGeady 71 68 68, Andrew McLardy 74 64 69, Alan McLean 71 69 67, Richie Ramsay 67 70 70, Andrew Tampion (Australia) 70 67 70 Also: -2: Gareth Paddison (New Zealand) 70 72 69, Brett Rumford (Australia) 68 69 74 -1: Marcus Fraser (Australia) 73 67 72 +2: Wade Ormsby (Australia) 70 71 74