Golf: Wilkinson, Lee stay strong

Kiwi pair share ninth place in Idaho; Campbell keeps form in Russia but Turner fades.

Tim Wilkinson is eighth on the tour money list. Photo / NZPA
Tim Wilkinson is eighth on the tour money list. Photo / NZPA

Tim Wilkinson and Danny Lee have climbed in the third round of the Albertsons Boise Open in Idaho on the tour.

Manawatu pro Wilkinson jumped 20 places when he carded a seven-under 64 and Rotorua's Lee signed for a six-under 65 to climb 14 spots to join Wilkinson in a share of ninth place.

The Kiwis, who are eighth and ninth on the money list respectively, will begin the final round three strokes back from American Philip Pettitt jnr, who leads by one stroke on an 18-under total.

The leading Kiwis on the Order of Merit are projected to remain in eighth and ninth on the current standings as they look to return to the PGA Tour.

The top 25 players on the money list at the end of the 2013 season earn full cards on the PGA Tour in 2014.

Steven Alker needs a low round today to keep advancing his chances of qualifying.

The 41-year-old Hamilton pro, who was trying to win his second title of the Tour season, carded an even-par 71 in round three to drop 24 places into a share of 29th.

The Utah Champion is 21st on the money list and projected to drop one place in his current position. Alker will know that every result from now until the season-ending Tour Championship is all important to his chances of qualifying for the PGA Tour for the first time.

Wilkinson is hoping to return to the game's most lucrative tour for the first time since 2009 and Lee played on the PGA Tour in 2012.

If all three Kiwis can progress to the PGA Tour in 2014 it will be a return to the heydays of New Zealand Golf.

In 2002 New Zealand golf had its largest presence on the PGA Tour with five players (Craig Perks, Frank Nobilo, Phil Tataurangi, Grant Waite and Michael Long) on the game's most lucrative tour.

Meanwhile, in England a disappointing start to the third round saw Greg Turner slip back at the Senior British Open Championship at Royal Birkdale.

The 50-year-old Otago professional opened with five straight bogeys on moving day to lose touch with the leaders in his debut in the championship.

Turner, who opened with rounds of 70 and 69 to be tied 11th, played the back nine in even par 36 for a five-over 75 to be tied 22nd heading into the final round.

The two-time winner of the NZ Open will begin round four 13 shots back from German legend Bernhard Langer who leads on a nine-under total.

Turner is playing his second senior major of the year after finishing tied 56th at the US PGA Championship in May at the Bellerive Country Club in St Louis.

And in Europe Michael Campbell has continued his solid performance at the Russian Open. Campbell has had rounds of 70, 73 and 72 at the Tseleevo Golf and Polo Club to be in a share of 32nd place heading into the final round of his debut in the championship.

- NZ Herald

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