Sydney - Former US Open champion Geoff Ogilvy fired an
eight-under-par 64 to move into the outright lead at the Australian Open and
set up a final round showdown with two-time major winner Jordan Spieth on
Ogilvy, 39, was 11-under-par and two shots ahead of American
Spieth, fellow Australian Aaron Baddeley and New Zealand's Ryan Fox with one
round remaining at the Royal Sydney Golf Club.
Veteran Australian Rod Pampling was one shot further back
after a third round 70 while world No 7 Adam Scott carded a tumultuous 71.
Scott joined fellow Australians Jake Higginbottom, Jason
Scrivener, Lucas Herbert and James Nitties in a five-way tie for sixth at
Ogilvy began the day six shots behind overnight leader
Nitties and produced six front-nine birdies - including four in a row -- to
join the lead halfway through his round.
The 2010 Australian Open champion consolidated with birdies
at the par-five 16th and par-four 18th for a tournament-low round.
"That was kind of an easy 64 if there is such a
thing," Ogilvy said.
"I didn't really see 64 on the first tee, but after
going out so well on the front nine, I kind of started seeing a score like
"When you've been seeing putts hit the edge and not go
in for a few months, or years, you feel a lot better when they actually lip in
instead of lip out."
Former world No 1 Spieth began the day at five-under and
recovered from a slow start with five birdies from the sixth to the 14th to
post 68 and his best round of the tournament.
"After being one over through the first five holes and
really being all over the golf course, I really could have been three or four
over at that point and turned it around into a four-under round, so I'm very
pleased with being at nine under," Spieth said.
The 2014 Australian Open champion needed 25 putts on
Saturday and said he feels confident on the greens after lamenting poor putting
on the first two days.
"I'm just going to be more aggressive on the greens
tomorrow(Sunday) now that I feel more comfortable," he said.
"I feel like my best golf is yet to come out and,
therefore I feel confident about where things are."
Baddeley, 35, began the third round with back-to-back
birdies on his way to a five-under 67 and will play alongside Ogilvy in
Sunday's final pairing.
The 35-year-old is chasing a third Australian Open title, 17
years after his win as an 18-year-old amateur at Royal Sydney in 1999.
"You have so many good memories here, lots of good
shots, putts made, so it definitely helps when you go back to a course that
you've played well at and have got such good memories at like here,"
"It would be pretty cool to win here tomorrow, I mean,
17 years later, that would be super special."
Scott mixed four birdies with three bogeys and was upbeat
after his 71 despite missing a short birdie putt on the final green.
"I didn't play good on the front nine and I was happy
to hang in there and shoot an under par score," Scott said.
"I only lost one shot to the lead, which is not bad
considering it wasn't a good day for me," the 2013 US Masters champion
"A hot start tomorrow is what I need, a quick front
nine and I'll be right in it."
The top three players at the Australian Open will win direct
entry into next July's British Open at Royal Birkdale.Leading third-round scores Saturday in the Australian Open at the par-72 Royal Sydney Golf Club:
205 - Geoff Ogilvy (AUS) 70-71-64
207 - Aaron Baddeley (AUS) 74-66-67, Jordan Spieth (USA) 69-70-68, Ryan Fox (NZL) 68-68-71
208 - Rod Pampling (AUS) 71-67-70
209 - Jake Higginbottom (AUS) 73-70-66, Jason Scrivener (AUS) 70-70-69, Lucas Herbert (AUS) 67-71-71, Adam Scott (AUS) 73-65-71, James Nitties (AUS) 70-65-74
210 - Nick Cullen (AUS) 72-70-68, Steven Jeffress (AUS) 71-71-68, Robert Allenby (AUS) 71-71-68, Cameron Smith (AUS) 74-68-68, Anthony Summers (AUS) 73-68-69, Ashley Hall (AUS) 71-69-70, Min Woo Lee (AUS) 72-67-71, Rhein Gibson (AUS) 71-66-73
211 - Travis Smyth (AUS) 69-73-69, Jake McLeod (AUS) 71-69-71, Peter Lonard (AUS) 70-69-72