Date: March 23, 2017
Author: Christian Puccini

SA Classic – Ferguson edges closer to Klein

Ben Ferguson from The Vines Golf Club in WA fired a 2-under 70 in the third round of the Golf SA Amateur Classic, to move to within one stroke of leader Douglas Klein (QLD) who is 7-under.

After rounds of 71 and 69, Ferguson’s third round comprised five birdies including a confidence building three on the 382mtr par four, 18th.

“It was pretty solid, the breeze did pick up a little and I seemed to struggle a bit, but I started off well. I was three under thru 10 holes and then made double on 13 which was a tough hole, but that kind of settled me down a little.

“I bounced back well with birdie on 14, but then made a mistake on 15 on the par five, which was a little bit costly, but it’s still 2-under, a solid round, it’s still there, so in contention for tomorrow.” Ferguson said.

Finishing fourth and fifth the past two years at the Classic, the affable Western Australian will be looking to go low in the final round.

“I have to make as many birdies as possible, I know that’s what Dougie will be doing, so I’ve got to try and catch him”.

“This morning was just perfect and with those conditions you can go low so I’ve just got to tear up the front nine really, because that’s the easier part of the course. I just have to start well and thrive off that”. Ferguson added.

Klein who has led since the opening round kept his nose in front posting a solid 71 with three birdies.

“I’d say the weather conditions probably allowed for a bit lower scoring, but a few of the boys just struggled on the back nine. It wasn’t playing that easy, so I just thought if I could turn the back nine even par it would be okay. A one-under par round in those conditions worked out alright, but a few under might have been a bit more ideal.

Klein is quietly confident holding the lead heading into the final round.

“It’s nothing I haven’t done before, just need to keep focusing on my own game, make as many birdies as possible and just never back down, keep at it, keep firing at pins and birdies are the way”.

“It awesome, playing with Ben again, one of my good mates, so that will be good. Hopefully in for a good day, feed off each other and make a few birdies.” Klein added.

In somewhat of a surprise Andrew Nakone Jnr from The Grange Golf Club is in outright third at 5-under and finds himself in the final group. After playing with and out scoring Min Woo Lee (72) and Lachlan Barker (71) with a 3-under 69, Nakone Jnr appears to be absorbing the pressure well.

“Very happy with how I’ve played, very solid, just fairways and greens, nothing too special. I got off to a slow start but holed a couple of putts”.

“I just told myself to keep focusing on your game, you’re going to hole a couple of putts, just stay in there, there is always tomorrow. I know I have the ability to make three or four birdies in a row, so there is no reason to panic when someone (Min Woo) is 6-under thru 10.

Heading into the final round, Nakone’s strategy is pretty simple.

“Just stick to my game plan, take irons off one and three and just don’t really get greedy and just keep my head in the game.” Nakone added.

In fourth place is Josh Armstrong at 4-under the card. Next best South Australian is Sam Earl (Glenelg) at 3-under (tied 5th), followed by Lachlan Barker (Glenelg) 2-under (tied 8th  with Min Woo Lee). Low round of the day went to Jack Sandic (VIC) who fired a 6-under 66.

Men’s Final Round kicks off at 8.00am on Friday 24 March with the Men’s leading group Klein, Ferguson and Nakone Jnr teeing off at 9.04am.

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