Jeff Guan could be just a round away from claiming the biggest win of his burgeoning career at the Australian Amateur Championships.
Sitting in a seven-way tie for 7th, just two shots from the leaders, Taisho Moto of Japan, Robert Moran of Ireland, and Kiwi Kazuma Kobori, Guan posted one of the afternoon, a two under par 70, on the testing New South Wales Golf Club Layout.
“I came in today thinking it was going tto be a bit windier than usual and to just keep shots on target, which I did for the first 15 holes,” A relieved Guan said post-round. “I just didn’t for the last couple.”
Had it not been for a messy double bogey on the par-four 16th, as he alluded to, the Bexley gun would have had a share of the lead heading into the final round.
“The tee shot was perfect. I just didn’t commit to the second shot, hit it slightly too high, and the wind just took it.”
Despite the late error, Guan was his usual quietly confident self when asked about his chances in tomorrow’s final round.
“Windy courses are always fun to play on. The more I play, the more I get used to the course. I think tomorrow, If I make less dumb decisions, then hopefully, everything will go well for me.”
Besides Guan at minus seven, the leaderboard is a log jam with no less than 19 players within five shots of the lead. Sharing low Aussie spoils through 54 holes with Guan is former US Mid Amateur Champion Lukas Michel.
A shot back of the leaders are England’s Aaron Edwards-Hill and Scotland’s Gregor Tait.
Best of the Blues Brigade on da three was Avondale’s Jye Pickin (five under total), who, after a four-under 68, has given himself a chance of a win. Local member at NSW, Ali Rachid, has been a model of consistency all week, firing a tidy one-under 71 to get to minus four.
In the women’s event, Queenslander Justice Bosio held her nerve nicely on a difficult day to get herself into the final group for Friday’s final round, just four shots from the lead held by Mizuki Hashimoto.
St. Michael’s Claire Shin carded a tidy even par 74 to be the best-placed local hope and sits in a tie for 6th at four under.
Annika Rathbone of The Australian Golf Cub was far from disgraced in the testing afternoon winds, carding a two-over 76. She is a shot back from Shin in a five-way tie for 8th.