Date: March 15, 2008

Webber fires into contention

Australia&aposs Kane Webber is tied for fifth place after three rounds of the Ballantine&aposs Championship in South Korea. Webber shot a magnificent round of 65 to move up the leaderboard and trails Graeme McDowell and Jeev Milkha Singh by six strokes. McDowell finished with a double-bogey six to lose the outright lead. The Northern Irishman signed for an excellent third-round 66 at Pinx Golf Club on Jeju Island but it could have been better had he not overshot the 18th green. That allowed playing partner Jeev Milkha Singh to draw level on 18-under-par following an eight-under-par round of 64, which included a run of eight birdies in 10 holes. McDowell shot six birdies in his round. Ireland&aposs Paul McGinley carded a second straight 67 and was four shots behind on 14-under, while Sweden&aposs Johan Edfors birdied the last to complete a 69 and move to 13- under. Open champion Padraig Harrington followed up a third-round 65 with a four-under 68 and was level with Webber at 12-under. The 28-year-old McDowell, from Portrush, led by two strokes halfway through the tournament following rounds of 68 and 64 and has lauded the 7,345-yard layout. He flourished in the best of the conditions yesterday, carding the lowest round of the tournament in a second round delayed by high winds. The Ulsterman, whose season&aposs best finish was fifth in the Dubai Desert Classic, is chasing a first European Tour victory since the 2004 Italia Open – his second triumph – and made a remarkable start with successive birdies on the par-four first and the par-three second. McDowell then holed from 12 feet on the fourth for an eagle before successive birdies on the eighth and ninth and a further shot was claimed on the 13th. He then claimed a birdie on the par-five 16th before his first dropped shots since the first round on the final hole of the day. McDowell missed the green and was forced to drop after going out of bounds. Of the other Australians to make the halfway cut, veteran Terry Pilkadaris is equal 14th at eight-under, while compatriot Adam Blyth is three shots further adrift in a tie for 29th. Scott Barr, Tony Carolan and Gary Simpson are tied for 43rd place at two-under, one shot clear of fellow Australians Marcus Both and David Bransdon. Third round results from the Ballantine&aposs Championship in South Korea: (par 72) -18: Graeme McDowell 68 64 66, Jeev Milkha Singh 68 66 64 -14: Paul McGinley 68 67 67 -13: Johan Edfors 69 65 69 -12: Padraig Harrington 71 65 68, Kane Webber (Australia) 71 68 65 -11: Ariel Canete 70 68 67, Anthony Kim 68 68 69 -10: Thomas Bjorn 70 66 70, Mikko Ilonen 67 70 69, Shingo Katayama 68 70 68, Oliver Wilson 70 69 67 -9: Thaworn Wiratchant 69 70 68 -8: Phillip Archer 71 70 67, Kim Hyung-Sung 72 70 66, Terry Pilkadaris (Australia) 71 66 71 -7: K J Choi 71 69 69, Kim Hyung-Tae 69 66 74 Also -5: Adam Blyth (Australia) 69 72 70 -2: Scott Barr (Australia) 70 70 74, Tony Carolan (Australia) 67 75 72, Gary Simpson (Australia) 70 70 74 -1: Marcus Both (Australia) 74 70 71, David Bransdon (Australia) 72 70 73 +2: Gavin Flint (Australia) 72 72 74