Date: November 18, 2017
Author: Roy Fleming

They’re all chasin’ Jason

When he speaks, and when he plays golf, Jason Scrivener offers observers a lesson in personal containment.

The 28-year-old West Australian played the tidiest round of golf today at Twin Creeks.

Light on mistakes and strong on birdies, Scrivener carded a six-under 66 to go with his opening rounds of 64 and 69 to take a one-shot lead into the final round of the NSW Open.

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Yet to win since turning professional, he gave no indication about what a potential breakthrough professional win might mean when asked about it.

But it’s clear he thinks about it.

“If I keep doing it (contending), it’s going to happen eventually. Whether it’s tomorrow or somewhere down the line,” he said.

“I’m not putting any pressure on myself right now. I’m not going to deny that I’m not thinking about it (a win), but I don’t feel like I have anything to lose. I feel it will happen, I’ve put myself in that position enough, to know that I’m good enough.”

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Lesson number two in personal containment came via visiting American Kramer Hickok who was all class on a day when virtually nothing went right. Starting with a double bogey on his opening hole, the Texan plummeted down the leaderboard with a disastrous three-over 75 to a tie for 14th and seemingly out of contention.

“There’s a lot that went wrong today, there wasn’t a lot of positives to draw on,” he said. “I didn’t hit it all that bad; I just putted really bad. I could’ve saved a bunch of bunker shots – maybe four or five shots on the front. Then on the back, I had a lot of birdie opportunities but didn’t capitalise.”

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The tales of fortune and disappointment set up a tasty final day here at Twin Creeks, with Lucas Herbert (67) and Daniel Nesbit (68) both playing out of their skin to be one shot back from Scrivener.

Herbert seized the lead through the front nine with six straight birdies from the second but matched three more birdies with three bogeys on the more challenging back nine to finish at -16 for the day.

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Nesbit would be tonight’s outright leader if not for a disappointing double bogey on 16, which is playing as one of the toughest holes on the course this week, straight downwind and tucked pin.

“It sucks to end the round like that,” the 27-year-old Queenslander said.

“It (his approach to 16) came out a little hot and went over the green on the one hole you don’t to be long. It was on the line I wanted, but it had way too much heat on it.”

As Nesbit rightly pointed out, he’s only had two bogies all week leading up to 16, and he remains confident of adding another title to the Clearwater Bay Open he won in China in 2016.

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The contenders are long and deep. Ben Eccles flew under the radar all day to post his third round in the 60s, this time a 69 to be two back from the leaders and in outright fourth. One suspects the field will be watching the 2015 winner closely and will expect a charge for the Kel Nagle Cup at some point.

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The leading amateur, Japan’s Takumi Kanaya showed a lion’s spirit in fighting back from an inconsistent front nine (two birdies, two bogeys), to post a much tidier back nine to be at -13.

He will face a challenge for leading amateur from Min Woo Lee (-12), but both are still in with a chance of lifting the main silverware tomorrow.

Join us tomorrow for live updates of the final round, or watch it live on Epicentre.TV, Foxtel Digital or PGA TV from 12 Midday.

Leaderboard (after round 3)
-17 J Scrivener
-16 L Herbert
-16 D Nisbet
-15 B Eccles
-13 T Kanaya (Am)
-12 M Lee (Am)
-12 J Felton
-11 J Arnold
-10 B Proverbs
-10 C Crabtree (Am)
-10 R Gibson
-10 D Hillier (Am)
-10 A Price