BEIJING, April 23 /Xinhua-PRNewswire/ -- World number 10 Adam Scott
tightened his grip on the US$2.35 million Johnnie Walker Classic by opening up
a six shot lead when the third round was suspended late Saturday.
The talented Aussie cruised to 19-under-par for the tournament at Pine
Valley Golf Resort and Country Club, negotiating 11 holes of his round in
four-under before officials halted play at 6.50pm due to darkness. Earlier in
the day, Scott maintained his irrepressible form to add a six-under-par 66 to
his course record opening 63 for a four-shot halfway lead on 15-under-par 129.
American journeyman Gary Rusnak and Sweden's Henrik Stenson were trailing
on Scott's heels in tied second place on 13-under-par. Rusnak, who
contemplated quitting the Asian Tour because of indifferent form, gave himself
a shot at his biggest pay cheque at Asia's richest tournament with a
performance that surprised even himself.
A further stroke back was Retief Goosen, ranked fifth in the world and the
2002 Johnnie Walker Classic winner, but the South African star conceded that
he was playing only for second place. Compatriot Richard Sterne and Steven
O'Hara of Scotland were tied with Goosen on 12-under through 11 and 13 holes
Asia's challenge in the premier event tri-sanctioned by the Asian,
European and Australasian Tours was left to Prayad Marksaeng. The Thai was
amongst 28 players who completed their third rounds when play was stopped at
6.50pm local time. But his bogey-free 66 and 11-under-par total was eight
shots behind the runaway leader.
Scott is a proven front-runner as his previous wins in Qatar, Scotland and
Sweden were recorded after putting himself in pole position. He said: "It was
a long day but a good day. I did what I had to do because I knew the guys
behind were going to make birdies if there was no wind. Hopefully, we can get
some nice conditions tomorrow and everything keeps rolling."
It has been a memorable first visit to China so far for Scott, who served
as a bartender in the Johnnie Walker's charity drive on Thursday night and has
even visited the Great Wall of China twice due to the various delays caused by
strong gusts that disrupted the first round and led to the field playing
But his thoughts are firmly on getting his hands on the Johnnie Walker
Classic trophy, which past winners include luminaries such as Greg Norman,
Nick Faldo, Fred Couples and Tiger Woods.
About The Johnnie Walker Classic
The Johnnie Walker Classic is more than just a golf tournament. Along
with a week of official parties, Johnnie Walker will be raising money for the
"Keep Walking" Thailand Tsunami fund and will be promoting messages
encouraging people to drink in moderation. This includes the 15th hole, on
which the signage carries messages about responsible drinking.
For further information, please contact Burson-Marsteller at:
Tel: +86-21-5403-2121 ext. 171
SOURCE JOHNNIE WALKER