Date: December 13, 2008
Author: Adam Lucius at Royal Sydney, Sportal

Smail goes through the wringer

Exhausted New Zealand golfer David Smail battled a lack of sleep, intense heat and strong winds to slog his way to the top of the leaderboard with a third-round 70 in the Australian Open at Royal Sydney on Saturday. The lanky Kiwi was forced to wake at 4.35am to complete his washed out second round before having a short break and heading back out to start round three. Despite playing 31 holes in a day and battling the worst of the elements, Smail is one good round away from adding the Stonehaven Cup to his New Zealand and Japan Open titles, breaking a three-year win drought in the process. He sits 10 under, a stroke ahead of Andre Stolz with Ewan Porter and Stephen Dartnall a further three shots back. “I&aposve just about had it. I feel like a shower right now,” a weary Smail said after completing the third round in two under. “It&aposs tough. It&aposs brutal out there. You&aposre getting attacked by sand flying out of bunkers and it was hot.” “I&aposm feeling a bit (like I&aposve) had it but somehow you just do it – you have to.” “We&aposll see how it goes tomorrow. I will just keep trying to swing it good.” “It would be nice to bring the cup home.” While Smail holds New Zealand&aposs hopes in his hands, Stolz will be the sentimental favourite when the fourth round gets underway on Sunday. After more than three years out of the game with a wrist injury, the New South Welshman is on the verge of completing a remarkable comeback as he sits in second spot just one shot off Smail.