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With a final-round 5-under-par 35-32=67 at his home Australian PGA Championship, Brett Rumford jumped five spots on the leaderboard to finish solo fifth at 10-under 278.

That was a distant nine shots behind winner Harold Varner III but is a reminder to gamers that Rumford is always a man to respect on his own turf. This is now his fourth top 10 in the last five events and he's been outside the top 20 in just two of his last 14 starts in Australia. Today, he looked as if he might slip back into the pack after opening with eight straight pars but the birdies did eventually come. Rumford was rewarded with his patience and delivered a trio of par breakers at 8, 9 and 10 before splashing further red at 15 and 17 to secure his top five slot. The 67 was his best round of the week by two shots.
Dec 4 - 3:32 AM

Local man Ashley Hall never got in a title blow after starting the day in T2 but a closing 2-under-par 36-34=70 was still good enough to secure solo fourth at the Australian PGA Championship.

His final tally of 14-under 274 at RACV Royal Pines Resort was five back from winner Harold Varner III but finishing the week just one shot behind Adam Scott and four shots clear of fifth place was admirable. In fact, it represents his second best finish on the European Tour in his 19 sporadic starts, just one place off his T3 at the 2009 Volvo China Open. Hall was slow out of the blocks today and his first deviation from par was a bogey-5 at 7. But he managed to splash red on the par 5s at 9, 12 and 15 and secure another excellent finish after he lost out in a three-way play-off to Jordan Spieth at last month's Australian Open on his most recent start.
Dec 4 - 3:21 AM

Despite giving himself late hope with an eagle-3 at 15, Adam Scott had to be content with third spot in his home Australian PGA Championship, a closing 5-under-par 33-34=67 taking him to 15-under 273 and four back from winner Harold Varner III.

That's a hat-trick of podium finishes for Scott now in his trio of appearances at RACV Royal Pines Resort although this wasn't the medal he wanted after a win and second previously. Four behind Aussie compatriot Andrew Dodt at start of play, an opening birdie fuelled hope of a low one but he had to wait until the 8th to circle another red number. He stayed in the game with bridies at 9 and 11 but a bogey at 13 was costly. Scott did rally with an eagle-3 at 15 to briefly cut the lead to two but three closing pars weren't enough as Varner kicked further clear. It was a what might have been week for Scott who threatened plenty but ultimately came up short. He said: "It was my best round of the week and it wasn’t good enough unfortunately. But I kept myself in it for most of the day and they’ve just played better. I think I did what I could today but yesterday’s back nine probably is the costly one."
Dec 4 - 3:08 AM

Andrew Dodt compiled a bogey-free 3-under-par 35-34=69 in his final round at the Australian PGA Championship but his bid to lead from start to finish at RACV Royal Pines Resort came up short, the local man's tally of 17-under 271 leaving him two shots back from American Harold Varner III.

Keeping bogeys away was only part of the equation with scoring low and Dodt just didn't make enough birdies to see the job through. Two clear at start of play, he fell one shot back from Varner after opening up with eight straight pars. Jolted into action, Dodt found circles at 9, 10 and 14 to tie the lead again but pars at 15, 16, 17 and 18 allowed Varner to take the trophy after the big-hitting American birdied the closing stretch's two odd-numbered holes. Solo second place represents an excellent week for the 30-year-old Dodt, who reflected later: "It wasn’t my day on the greens, especially on the front nine. I gave it a good go on the back nine but Harold was just too good today. It’s as simple as that."
Dec 4 - 2:58 AM

Harold Varner III became the first American to win the Australian PGA Championship since Hale Irwin in 1978 after shooting a closing 7-under-par 32-33=65 at RACV Royal Pines Resort to post 19-under 269 and secure victory by two shots.

Varner III almost ended that drought last year when losing this event in a play-off but it was a different story this time as he came from two behind at start of play to deny Andrew Dodt a wire-to-wire victory. Dodt's bogey-free 69 gave him second spot, with pre-tourney favorite Adam Scott a further two shots back in third. After a birdie at 4, Varner tied the lead with a 15-foot circle at 7 and a kick-in birdie at 8 saw him hit the front. He kept the red coming with further gains at 10, 12 and 13 but bogeys at 11 and 14 allowed Dodt to battle back into a tie. Varner wouldn't be denied though and two more birdies at 15 and 17 saw him through to his first pro victory. "That was pretty awesome, I had a lot of fun out there today," said the World No. 184. "I’m now a much better, more mature player than I was 12 months ago and this win is big for me. Winning is hard, I don’t care where you tee it up, so to get it done feels great."
Dec 4 - 2:43 AM

Overnight co-leader Hideki Matsuyama fashioned a 7-under-par 32-33=65 in today's third round of the Hero World Challenge to reach the three-quarter pole on 19-under 197, good for a seven-shot lead over overnight co-leader Dustin Johnson, who shot 72, and Henrik Stenson, who carded a 66.

The World No. 6 began the third frame co-leading with Johnson on 12-under after opening his third appearance in 65-67. He squared bogeys on holes 8 and 16 but overshadowed them with seven birdies and a hole-out eagle-2 at the seventh. Among the 24-year-old's seven birdies where four birdie-4s on the five par 5s, moving to 13-under for the week on the par 5s alone. The highlight of his lap was the eagle on the drivable par-4 seventh --video link below -- where he chose to layup off the tee and then jarred home a one-bounce eagle from 86 yards away. Matsuyama is going for his fourth win in his last five worldwide starts, opening the run with a three-shot win at the Japan Open and winning the WGC-HSBC and the Taiheiyo Masters by seven shots each.
Dec 3 - 5:07 PM

Benjamin Hebert's liking for Leopard Creek continued Saturday, the Frenchman posting a 4-under-par 33-35=68 in round three at the Alfred Dunhill Championship in South Africa to nudge a spot up the leaderboard to solo fifth.

Hebert finished third in this event last year and has the chance to improve on that tomorrow after arriving at 12-under 204. That's five shots behind leader Brandon Stone and two back from a trio in T2 (Charl Schwartzel, Chris Hanson and Keith Horne). Hebert circled the first of his seven birdies today at 3 but that came between bogeys at 1 and 4 as he fell back early. It didn't deter the 29-year-old and he proceeded to splash red at six of his next 11 holes. Those gains at 5, 6, 9, 11, 13 and 15 took him to 13-under but he gave one back at 16 and then closed with a pair of pars.
Dec 3 - 11:25 AM

Chris Hanson remained in T2 at the Alfred Dunhill Championship in South Africa after painting a 4-under-par 33-35=68 in Saturday's third round to arrive at 14-under 202.

The Englishman picked off eight birdies in his afternoon lap of Leopard Creek but four bogeys meant he slipped three behind leader Brandon Stone having started the day just one back from the young South African. Hanson went to the turn in 33 with red at 2, 6 and 8 against a bogey at 7. He picked up further shots at 10, 11 and 13 but gave all those gains back with squares at 12, 14 and 16. The wild ride continued with a birdie at 17 and another at the last, meaning he parred just two of his final 13 holes. He'll play in the final group Sunday alongside leader Stone and another South African, Keith Horne.
Dec 3 - 11:06 AM

Charl Schwartzel's hopes of winning his home Alfred Dunhill Championship for the fourth time in five years and fifth occasion overall remain intact but he'll have to come from three back in Sunday's final round after carding a 4-under-par 35-33=68 on day three to reach 14-under 202.

Nothing wrong with his score today but halfway leader and playing partner Brandon Stone added a 66 to open up daylight. Schwartzel couldn't get it going early at Leopard Creek and had to settle for a one-birdie, one-bogey 35 on his outward nine. But, as in the first two rounds, he found his rhythm on the par 72's back nine and reeled off birdies at 10, 11, 12, 13 and 15 to eat into Stone's lead. The gap was two at that stage but Schwartzel ended the day three behind after a bogey-par-par finish. "I need to put myself in play more on the front nine. My putting is really beautiful and I just need to give myself more opportunities and I'm not doing that on the front nine," he said. "Hopefully tomorrow I can just play a little better from the beginning." As the final player of the trio to post 14-under, he's denied a place in Sunday's closing three-ball. Schwartzel will tee off in the penultimate group alongside Frenchman Benjamin Hebert and Scotland's David Drysdale.
Dec 3 - 10:56 AM

Veteran Keith Horne has never won on the European Tour but is in position to land his first title after posting a 5-under-par 34-33=67 in round three of the Alfred Dunhill Championship in his native South Africa on Saturday, up two spots on the leaderboard to T2.

That's three swings behind fellow South African Brandon Stone. The 45-year-old banked nine birdies in yesterday's 66 and circled seven more today. He started his count at 2 and 3 but the next, at 7, was sandwiched between bogeys at 5 and 8. Horne signed for a par at 10 and then made his move by connecting four straight circles from Nos. 11-14. Four closing pars saw him arrive at 14-under 202 alongside defending champion Charl Schwartzel and England's Chris Hanson. If Horne manages to take victory on Sunday, it will come in his 200th European Tour start.
Dec 3 - 10:43 AM

Brandon Stone authored a third-round 6-under-par 31-35=66 in the Alfred Dunhill Championship at Leopard Creek on Saturday, extending his one-shot overnight lead to three with 18 holes to play.

Stone made his European Tour breakthrough when winning last year's South African Open and he's in golden position to cash in again at a home-soil event. He posted 17-under 199 today after a lap featuring seven birdies and a lone bogey took him three clear of defending champion Charl Schwartzel, compatriot Keith Horne and England's Chris Hanson. Stone set the tone with an opening par breaker and a six-footer for birdie at 4 sparked further gains at 5 and 6. He built his lead by starting the back nine with three birdies against a bogey at 12 and finished with five straight pars, including a 25-foot save at 16, to stay in command. "I played some good golf the whole day," said the 23-year-old. "I holed some putts, hit some good shots, got a really, really lucky break on the last there but all of those missed putts for the last three days just cashed in there."
Dec 3 - 10:32 AM

John Senden constructed a bogey-free card of 4-under-par 33-35=68 which earned him T4 on 10-under 206 in the Australian PGA Championship at RACV Royal Pines Resort, Queensland.

The local initially made his move on the front nine, splashing red at the 4th, 8th and 9th holes. Whilst others struggled in a day of blustering wind, he remained calm and collected. The back nine witnessed plenty of blue for the key challengers so Senden's eight pars and sole birdie at the 17th represented a solid achievement; he duly progressed up the leaderboard. He lies four back of the leader Andrew Dodt and will play the final round alongside pre-tourney favorite Adam Scott. Senden has not contended for a title since he was T3 after 54 holes of last year's UNIQLO (Australian) Masters; he finished T2. Before that you must go back to early 2014 when he was again T3 after three rounds in the Valspar Championship and PLAYERS' Championship; he won the former and was T26 in the latter.
Dec 3 - 4:15 AM

A flat back nine cost Adam Scott the chance of making the final group Sunday; he carded 2-under-par 32-38=70 and lies T4, four back of the leader Andrew Dodt in the Australia PGA Championship, on 10-under 206 at RAVC Royal Pines Resort.

The world number seven blitzed the front nine on Moving Day, making birdie at 3 and 8 before topping it all with an eagle-3 at the 541-yard par-five 9th. But he found water on both the 10th and 13th, could only make bogey at both holes, and when he finally rediscovered red (at the par-five 15th) he immediately gave the shot back at the 16th. "I’m going to have to shoot a low score but there’s a low one out there, that’s for sure," he said afterwards. "After such a good front nine I kind of stalled my way in, but I’m still in there. If I can get off to a fast start and have a front nine as good as today’s, then I’ll be right in the tournament."
Dec 3 - 4:07 AM

Harold Varner III thrashed a superb finish to card 5-under-par 35-32=67 and tie Ashley Hall in second, two shots behind the leader Andrew Dodt on 12-under 204 in the Australian PGA Championship at RACV Royal Pines Resort.

The American raider made the play-off 12 months ago, largely thanks to a superb third round 66 and whilst he didn't quite repeat that this year, he finds himself in a similar position thanks to a stunning conclusion. He'd opened with eight straight pars before making birdie at No. 9 for the third day in a row, and added another red number at the 12th. But he was still someway adrift of Dodt as he headed to the par-five 15th which he had double bogeyed Friday. Unaffected Varner III made eagle-3 and repeated the trick at the 448-yard par-four 17th, when his 8-iron approach shot hopped three times before disappearing down the hole. Unfortunately he made bogey at the last, but is positive ahead of Sunday. "I'd take a play-off because it means I have a chance," he said. "But I have to play 18 holes to get there. I'm looking forward to the opportunity. It was tough out there, when the wind blows hard here you just need to try to hang in there."
Dec 3 - 3:51 AM

Ashley Hall carded two eagles in a 2-under-par 33-37=70 which leaves him T2 after 54 holes of the Australian PGA Championship at RACV Royal Pines Resort on 12-under 204.

The 33-year-old heads into the final round just two shots behind the leader Andrew Dodt, alongside Harold Varner III, with the experiened duo of Adam Scott and John Senden two further back. With victory a possibility on Sunday Hall has the chance to totally transform a career that has never really taken off. He earned the opportunity with birdie at No. 4 (a par-four he has also notched eagle and triple bogey at this week), before an eagle-3 at the 9th vaulted him up the leaderboard. After a bogey at 13 he made repairs with a second eagle at the 565-yard par-five 15th. A share of the lead was up for grabs, but he squared both 17 and 18 to cede Dodt the advantage, but he will play in the final group. "The two eagles were obviously very nice," he said afterwards. "I actually didn’t hit that good a shot on the ninth but made a really long putt. The eagle on the 15th was a little more conventional, I hit a really nice approach and rolled in the putt."
Dec 3 - 3:34 AM


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