Golf: Shilton looking for big break in New Caledonia

Waikato's Brad Shilton is chasing his biggest result as a professional and is in the lead after the third round of the South Pacific Golf Open Championship in Noumea.

Shilton shot a six-under 65 to record the best score of moving day to earn a three shot lead heading into the final day. He is looking for his first win since claiming the Wairakei Open in 2009 on the Charles Tour.

Shilton felt comfortable on course, believing a clear head helped him on his way to the bogey-free round, and he is now favourite to claim the $23,000 winner's cheque.

"It would be pretty big," the 33-year-old said. "I've been playing Aussie Tour for seven years now and had half a dozen top-10s in these types of events so a win would be huge.

"The tournament organiser said to me this morning that I am the only one to have played this event all five years, so it would be nice to get a win up here.

"Today I hit a few bad shots and it just didn't really faze me. I just kept going and managed to get a good score on the board."

First round leader Henry Epstein bounced back in the third round, shooting five-under to move into second, three shots behind Shilton.

Auckland professional Ryan Fox goes into the final round in third place on nine-under par with defending champion Matthew Griffin a shot further behind.

#

New Zealand No 1 Danny Lee fired a six under par 66 to climb into a share of 12th at the Chiquita Classic on the web.com Tour in North Carolina, five shots behind American Russell Henley.

Lee, who will return to the PGA Tour Fall Series next week looking to climbing from 159 on the money list to inside the top 125 to keep his card, is chasing his first win of 2012.

He is currently 71st on the web.com Tour's money list and another top-five finish would propel him closer to the top 25 who automatically qualify for the PGA Tour from the feeder tour.

Tim Wilkinson slipped from a share of 17th to tied 50th after an even par 72 to make the cut by one shot but Josh Geary (71, 72), Steven Alker (73, 68) and Grant Waite (75, 70) all missed the cut.

#

David Smail fired a two under par 70 to be in a share of eighth at the Coca-Cola Tokai Classic on the Japan Golf Tour.

The New Zealand No 2 is four shots behind leader Masahiro Kawamura of Japan. He is currently 66th on the Japan Golf Tour Order of Merit and needs to finish inside the top 70 to keep his card.

#

Masterton amateur Ben Campbell has advanced to the second stage of qualifying for the European Tour in 2013 but didn't help himself by inadvertently eating shellfish the night before his final round - he's allergic.

Campbell finished on the cut line in a share of 15th in France after rounds of 74, 70, 68 and 73.

"I battled today after accidentally eating some sort of shell fish last night which I'm allergic to, which wasn't ideal," he said on Facebook.

Campbell was one of only two amateurs to advance from the French event.

- APNZ

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf03 at 28 Dec 2014 01:44:56 Processing Time: 318ms