Update: The local threat emerges

Update: The local threat emerges

Picton local Justin Warren is the equal leader halfway through the third round of the AVJennings 2019 NSW Open with a six-under front nine to send a message through the field: local knowledge reigns supreme.

Warren, 24, is in his first year as a professional, having attended college over the past four years in the US. If anyone thought he’d be intimidated by the likes of Min Woo Lee and Andrew Dodt, a three-time tour winner, they’d be mistaken.

With four straight birdies from holes three to six, and an eagle on the par-five ninth, Warren moved into a share of the lead with Lee (also -15) as players make the turn for the shorter back nine.

Overnight leader Dodt might have expected to challenge his own course record of 61 given the benign conditions, but a lone birdie at the 3rd followed by a bogey at the 4th were the only stand-outs on his card and a reminder that no two rounds of golf are ever the same.

Travis Smyth is impressing the large gallery during the third round of the AVJennings NSW Open

Shellharbour professional Travis Smyth is continuing to mount a challenge for this maiden professional win with a three-under front nine and another birdie on 10 to be at -14.

Asked for his thoughts on his son’s round midway through moving day, Warren’s father Stuart – a former scratch golfer himself – said: “He’s looking great. He looks like he belongs here, right at home.”

“He’s playing really well. He’ll keep calm and tomorrow afternoon, hopefully on the back nine, he’s in a spot where he can throw a few punches.”

Another major highlight in this third round was a hole-in-one for Newcastle’s Aarion Townsend on the super-challenging 163m 17th, the second of the tournament after Andrew Martin’s ace on the 2nd in the opening round.

Conditions perfect for going low

The leading groups are all on course in the third round of the AVJennings NSW Open here at Twin Creeks Golf and Country Club in Sydney’s west, with conditions perfect for more low scoring that has punctuated this event so far.

Andrew Dodt has relinquished his overnight lead.

As the leaders Andrew Dodt, Min Woo Lee and Travis Smyth settle into the early part of their rounds some excellent early scoring indicates low numbers are definitely on the cards again today.

Justin Warren is four under through six holes to be just one back from the leaders.

Queenslander Doug Klein finds himself in contention for the Kel Nagle Cup after a seven-under effort on moving day, a round which included eight birdies and a lone bogey on the 7th after missing the green long.

Crowds are in for a treat on day three.

If the 22-year-old can continue his good form he may be able to grab one of the few remaining spots in the Australian Open field for next week in Sydney (the top 210 here all make it into the field), whilst his long-term plan is to earn a card on the Asian Tour.

“It was a pretty important day to do it,” he said, of finding his range with his putter.

“I felt like I was hitting it better as the week went on. It was just a matter of holing putts from 10 feet which I’ve struggled with these past few days.

“It felt pretty good today – it all clicked.”

The veteran David McKenzie also raised his game this morning with a five-under round that included six birdies and a bogey on 14, whilst New Zealander James Anstiss matched McKenzie’s round with a five-under effort of his own to climb up the leaderboard.

Queenslander Doug Klein finds himself in contention for the Kel Nagle Cup after a seven-under effort on moving day, a round which included eight birdies and a lone bogey on the 7th after missing the green long.

If the 22-year-old can continue his good form he may be able to grab one of the few remaining spots in the Australian Open field for next week in Sydney (the top 10 not otherwise exempt all make it into the field), whilst his long-term plan is to earn a card on the Asian Tour. 

“It was a pretty important day to do it,” he said, of finding his range with his putter. 

“I felt like I was hitting it better as the week went on. It was just a matter of holing putts from 10 feet which I’ve struggled with these past few days.

“It felt pretty good today – it all clicked.”

Day Three: Wish You Were Here

Can Travis Smyth break through for his first professional win in his own backyard?
Can Travis Smyth breakthrough for his first professional win in his own backyard?

It’s moving day here at the AVJennings 2019 NSW Open with some of the world’s best golfers all hoping to position themselves for a crack at the Kel Nagle Cup on Sunday.

It’s a coveted trophy with some of the biggest names in world golf etched into history. Names like Norman, Newton, Baker-Finch, and even the legend Kel Nagle himself.

Can’t get down here? Check back in for the NSW Open Live Stream later today

A thunderstorm is forecast for this evening, but it won’t be here until well after the last putt is sunk. In the meantime, come walk the fairways and see if Australian sensation Min Woo Lee can continue his birdie blitz in the hunt for his maiden professional title.

There’s plenty of parking, restaurants, an inflatable driving range for all ages and fantastic viewing positions across this challenging course.

Perhaps it will be a fourth professional title for Newcastle’s Andrew Dodt who broke the course record yesterday with a stunning 11-under 61 to be one shot ahead? Further back, there’s Shellharbour’s Travis Smyth in the best form of his burgeoning career and Victoria’s Josh Younger who is capable of shooting low as he did on Thursday with his 63.

The conditions are still and the course is fast and firm and likely to yield plenty of birdies throughout the day, especially with light winds forecast for the afternoon.

Join us as we bring you our rolling coverage of day three of the NSW Open, the premier golfing event on the Golf NSW calendar.

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