Date: October 12, 2008

Tampion in touch

Aussie young gun Andrew Tampion remains firmly in the hunt after three rounds of the Madrid Masters. Tampion shot a six-under 65 to move to within four strokes of leader Charl Schwartzel. Schwartzel held off the strong challenge of Ricardo Gonzalez to post a five-under-par 66 and take a one-shot lead into the final day. The South African streaked ahead early on – leaving Marcus Fraser, with whom he shared an overnight lead, and Robert Rock in his wake. But five groups ahead, Gonzalez burst into life on the back nine – firing six birdies and an eagle for a nine-under-par 62 which took him to 13 under for the tournament. He could have been the outright leader, but Schwartzel fended him off by holing a tricky putt for par on the 17th before sinking a 10-footer for birdie at the last to snatch a one-shot advantage on 14 under. Spaniard Pablo Larrazabal equalled Gonzalez&aposs score, racking up six birdies on the back nine to move to third place on 11 under. Three players – Englishman Paul Waring, Tampion and Carlos Del Moral – are 10 under. Schwartzel, 24, said he considered pulling out yesterday morning because of illness and a sore shoulder – and despite still not feeling 100 per cent, he raced ahead with birdies at four, five and eight and an eagle at seven. He wavered slightly around the turn, dropping shots at nine and 12, but birdied the par-five 14th and par-four 18th to steal a march on Gonzalez. “I didn&apost feel very strong this morning but I felt I ground it out nicely today,” said Schwartzel, who carded 69 and 64 in his first two rounds. “I felt very weak and slept very badly last night but I felt better and better as the day progressed. “Thankfully my shoulder is fine now after the physio treated it last night, but I still felt ill and got some medication from the doctor.” Asked if he may feel under pressure tomorrow, knowing Gonzalez had shot such a low score, Schwartzel replied: “Sixty-two is a great score, and tomorrow we&aposll have a good battle. “I will try to do the same as the last three days and stick to my game plan. I&aposm hitting the ball well and I&aposm confident in my swing. “I&aposve got a good chance tomorrow.” Gonzalez, 38, was still struggling to take in his whirlwind back nine which put him in strong contention. “I was one under after nine and thought to myself &aposI need a few more birdies&apos – but to shoot nine under is unbelievable,” he said. “The key, I think, was my drive on 10. From there, I felt more confident. My putting was also very good on the last seven or eight holes.” “Spain is like a second home, and I feel very good here. I&aposll feel a little bit of pressure tomorrow but I&aposll try to make a good score again and play well.” “I will just play golf and enjoy it – that&aposs the only thing I can do.” Waring is also a strong contender after a second four-under-par 67 followed a first-round 69, but joint overnight leader Fraser found it tougher going and could only manage a three-over 74 to leave him six under. Miguel Angel Jimenez&aposs chances of clinching the title which would take him to third in the European Tour Order of Merit look all but over – after a one-over 72 which meant he was 13 shots adrift of the lead, heading into the final day. Third Round of the Madrid Open (Par 71) -14: Charl Schwartzel 69 64 66 -13: Ricardo Gonzalez 69 69 62 -11: Pablo Larrazabal 68 72 62 -10: Carlos Del Moral 69 67 67, Andrew Tampion (Australia) 75 63 65, Paul Waring 69 67 67 -8: Sion E Bebb 69 68 68, Ignacio Garrido 70 68 67, Thongchai Jaidee 69 69, Damien McGrane 69 68 68 -7: Steven Jeppesen 68 67 73, Alvaro Quiros 74 66 66, Robert Rock 70 65 71 -6: Eduardo De La Riva 71 71 65, Marcus Fraser (Australia) 67 66 74, Martin Kaymer 71 69 67, Santiago Luna 68 68 71, Kyron Sullivan 71 68 68, Tom Whitehouse 71 70 66 Also: -3: Steve Alker (New Zealand) 73 66 71 E: Peter O Malley (Australia) 70 71 72 +5: Peter Fowler (Australia) 72 70 76