Date: October 07, 2007

O’Malley still in the hunt

Australian Peter O&aposMalley is three strokes behind runaway leader Nick Dougherty after the third round of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in Carnoustie. Dougherty has vowed to go all out for victory in the final round after the 25-year-old, winner of the Singapore Masters in 2005, carded a six-under 66 on St Andrews&apos Old Course for a 17-under-par aggregate of 199. O&aposMalley, who equalled the Carnoustie course record with a 64 during Friday&aposs second round, carded a three-under 69 for a 14-under total of 202. The 42-year-old, a three-time tour winner, was forced to hack out backwards from the sand at the infamous 17th – his eighth – on his way to a costly double bogey, but repaired some of that damage with four birdies over his remaining 10 holes to stay in the hunt. Dougherty, seventh in June&aposs US Open, has strung together a series of top-10 finishes on the circuit this season but has been frustrated by his failure to capture a second European Tour crown. The former Walker Cup star had the Italian Open in his grasp back in May but, after forging a three-shot lead with nine holes to play, slipped to a pair of crippling bogeys on the run-in and fell back to third. Having thrust himself to the front with a bogey-free round at St Andrews, Dougherty insisted he will adopt the policy of attack being the best form of defence as he strives to seal a long overdue success. “Looking back to the Italian Open I think I tried to just stay in front which really was a rookie mistake,” he said. “I tried to protect my lead and not make errors and that was not the right strategy.” “I&aposm going to go out in the final round and try and shoot a great score and if I can do that then I will be very hard to catch.” “To score 66 at St Andrews, a course which I haven&apost really done that well on over the years, has given me a huge lift in confidence.” “I&aposm relaxed and not feeling worried about being in front and that is pleasing.” New Zealander Michael Campbell is still struggling to find his best form in this tournament and is yet to break 70, carding a third-round 70 to finish the day on four-under for the tournament and in 61st place. Paul Lawrie, the Dunhill Links winner in 2001, made a rousing return to Carnoustie – scene of his 1999 Open triumph – and moved into a share of third on 13-under with a course record-equalling 64. The 38-year-old, who opened his challenge with a 66 then slipped back with a 73 on Friday, roared back to form with nine birdies to record his best score since he had a 64 in the opening round of the HSBC Champions tournament back in 2005. Open champion Padraig Harrington, the winner of the Dunhill title both last year and in 2002, kept alive his hopes of a third victory as he joined Lawrie on 13 under by posting a five-under 67 at Kingsbarns. Justin Rose, second behind Harrington on the Order of Merit, fired a 66 at Kingsbarns to join the 13-under group which also includes the 2005 Italian Open winner Steve Webster. Former Open champion Ernie Els and Swedish duo Peter Hanson and Niclas Fasth share seventh on 12-under while Irish teenager Rory McIlroy, making only his second professional appearance, almost joined that group until he stumbled to a bogey on his final hole at Kingbarns. Third Round of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, St Andrews, Carnoustie & Kingsbarns, (Par 72): -17 Nick Dougherty 67 66 66 -14 Peter O&aposMalley (Australia) 69 64 69 -13 Padraig Harrington 70 66 67, Paul Lawrie 66 73 64, Justin Rose 68 69 66, Steve Webster 65 70 68 -12 Ernie Els 67 67 70, Niclas Fasth 67 70 67 -11 Peter Hanson 68 68 69, Trevor Immelman 73 65 67, Rory McIlroy 71 67 67, -11 Scott Strange (Australia) 66 70 69 -10 Thomas Aiken 71 66 69, Luke Donald 67 70 69, Rafael Echenique 67 67 72, Henrik Stenson 68 69 69 Also: -6 Brett Rumford (Australia) 70 68 72 -4 Michael Campbell (New Zealand) 71 71 70 -7 Nathan Green (Australia) 68 74 67 -4 Kurt Barnes (Australia) 71 71 70 -5 Matthew Millar (Australia) 69 74 68 E Adam Bland (Australia) 73 70 73 +2 David Diaz (Australia) 72 72 74 E Peter Senior (Australia) 74 70 72 +3 Marcus Fraser (Australia) 75 70 74 +2 Wade Ormsby (Australia) 71 74 73 +8 Steve Elkington (Australia) 71 75 78 +1 Peter Fowler (Australia) 73 73 71