Scott Tightens Grip in JOHNNIE WALKER CLASSIC
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. (Photos: http://xprnnews.xfn.info/JWGC/Day3/picture1.htm http://xprnnews.xfn.info/JWGC/Day3/picture2.htm http://xprnnews.xfn.info/JWGC/Day3/picture3.htm ) 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 respectively. 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 catch-up. 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: Holly Hu Tel: +86-21-5403-2121 ext. 171 Fax: +86-21-5403-8589 Mobile: +86-13761683747 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
SOURCE JOHNNIE WALKER
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