Golf: Toomey shoots course record on Charles Tour

Waikato amateur Luke Toomey's goal for 2013 is to get the attention of the New Zealand golf selectors.

He went the right way about in round three of the LawnMaster Classic on the Charles Tour today when he carded a course-record nine under par 63 at the Manawatu Golf Club to get to 11-under and a one-stroke lead.

Fellow Waikato amateur Nick Coxon also got in on the hot scoring action when he signed for a seven under par 65 as the youngsters upstaged the professionals.

Veteran Grant Moorhead (69) is the leading professional only two shots behind Toomey and two-time Charles Tour winner Josh Geary carded an even par 72 to be in fourth, four shots behind Toomey and alongside overnight leader Daniel Pearce (73).

Toomey, 19, made 10 birdies and a bogey in his stellar round. It was his best competitive round in his young amateur career and the lowest score at the new layout of the Manawatu Golf Club, which renovated the par 3 16th hole two months ago. The previous course record holders of 63 on the old layout were Michael Sim and Mark Smith.

"It was a really special round,'' Toomey said. "I had a gut feeling I was going to be around the course record so it was great to finish it off and nice to know that I have some authority at this event.

"I felt calm the whole day, which is unusual for me as I can drive myself into being a bit tense. But I felt really relaxed. I was playing with two great guys in Nick [Gillespie] and Tyler [Lock] and that really helped. It was just an awesome feeling to see the birdie putts falling in and going further into the red numbers.''

Toomey said a recent trip to play in the Australian amateur events helped him with a new approach.

"I learned a lot in my time in Aussie that you have to play aggressively if you are going to score well.

When I was a few under I kept telling myself, `keep going and fortune favours the brave'. It did for me today.''

North Harbour golfer Lita Guo will take an 11-shot lead into the final round of the women's event tomorrow but the 17-year-old had an eventful back nine.

Guo began with an eagle at the 10th before she triple bogeyed the par 3 11th. She then went onto to make five birdies in a row, par on the 17th, and then birdied the final hole to sign for a three-under-par 71.

"It was so crazy,'' Guo said. ``It has to be the craziest back nine I have ever had. Making eagle on the 10th was good and then I made a really bad triple but I came back well and made a lot of birdies on the way home.''

Wellington's Julianne Alvarez is second after carding a three under par 71 to get to two under for the tournament.

- APNZ

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