Strong winds, rain wreak havoc on leaderboard at Vic Open

wade ormsby William West/AFP/Getty Images

Strong winds, rain wreak havoc on leaderboard at Vic Open

Euro Tour

Strong winds, rain wreak havoc on leaderboard at Vic Open

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Australian Wade Ormsby recovered from a double bogey to take the lead in the $1 million ISPS Handa Vic Open on a day when just standing still was a chore, never mind moving up the leaderboard.

Strong winds and heavy rain made scoring difficult over the Beach Course at 13th Beach Golf Club in Geelong, Australia. Overnight leaders Nick Flanagan and Jason Scrivener struggled to rounds of 4-over-par 76 to drop down the leaderboard. Ormsby’s 2-under 70 took him from third place to the top of the leaderboard on 15 under.

The 29-year-old is two shots ahead of countryman Matt Stieger and England’s Callum Shinkwin, who returned respective scores of 65 and 66 in the tough conditions. South Africa’s Justin Harding, David Law of Scotland and Australian Brad Kennedy share fourth on 12 under.

On the women’s side, American Kim Kaufman shot a 75 to take a two-shot lead into the final round. She holed out from the bunker on the par-3 seventh to help salvage her round. France’s Celine Boutier and Su Oh of Australia were tied for second.

Ormsby started with a par before racking up a double bogey at the par-5 second hole. He recovered with four birdies over his next 16 holes to move into pole position for his second European Tour victory following the 2018 Hong Kong Open.

“I made a bit of a meal of it straight out of the box,” Ormsby said. “It was just tough out there. Warming up we knew it was going to be a really tough day, trying to find a way to keep the ball down. I just kept grinding really. That’s all we can do in weather like that. You’re going to hit a lot of bad shots, need to recover a lot and I did that quite well.

“I said to my caddie if the greens were firm, that would have been a debacle out there. But the greens are soft enough that if you hit good shots, you’ll still get rewarded, so it was OK.

“Depends what the weather gives up tomorrow. If it’s calm, you have to keep going low. If it’s like this, you have to keep on grinding.”

Stieger didn’t drop a shot in his round despite the weather. He’s now looking to settle an old score.

“I’ve got a redemption to do,” Stieger said. “In 2014 I got beat in a playoff here, so sort of hopefully try to get into a position like that again and see how we go.”

Paul Lawrie protégé Law felt right at home in the conditions. He’s from Aberdeen, Scotland, and is used to playing in wind and rain.

“Luckily it’s a links-style golf course, you can run the ball in, which I’m used to doing,” said Law, who graduated to this year’s Tour via finishing 14th on the 2018 European Challenge Tour. “You need to be patient, you need to know any small mistake is going to get exaggerated in the wind. So as long as you accept that sometimes bogey is not that bad a score, you’ll be OK.”

Harding might just be the man to beat: he’s shot final-round 63s in his last two tournaments.

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