New putter gives Ogilvy Masters lead

Local knowledge and a new putter paid dividends for Geoff Ogilvy as he fired a third round 8-under-par, 63, for a two stroke lead over Ian Poulter going into the final round of the JBWere Masters in Melbourne.

Ogilvy, the 2006 US Open champion, is at 13-under-par after eagling the short par-4 opening hole – hitting a 3-iron to 5 feet – followed by nine birdies and three bogeys.

Geoff Ogilvy opened with an eagle on the first during the third round of the JBWere Masters in Melbourne (Photo: Anthony Powter)

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Nathan Green and Ashley Hall share third position, with Green firing rounds of 69-68-67 to be at 9-under-par and Hall carding rounds of 66-70-68.

Ogilvy had been forced to play with his second best “mallet” putter after damaging his preferred putter – a Scotty Cameron Newport putter – in a frustrating even-par opening round on Thursday.

“I’ve experimented at home with blades and mallets and all sorts of different stuff,” said Ogilvy in defence for the new flat stick.

“I just had it [mallet putter] in the bag. I took it out at the Australian Open because I wanted to use it and wasn’t brave to try it. Obviously, this week I had the perfect opportunity to try it yesterday and today. So it’s obviously gone very well.”

Poulter led the tournament on the opening two days and was out again quickly today yet mistakes later in the tricky conditions dampened his charge carding a 2-under-par 69.

“I got off to a great start, two birdies for the first two holes,” said Poulter.

“I made a couple of mistakes, holed a couple of nice putts. But hats off to Geoff for going out shooting eight under par in that wind today. That’s a great score.”

Steven Bowditch fired one of the day’s low rounds with a 67 to be in a tie for fifth position at 7-under-par with Greg Chalmers, Peter Lonard, Kieran Pratt and Matthew Giles.

Chalmers is seeking to become the first player since Robert Allenby to claim the triple crown (Australian Open, Australian PGA, Australian Masters).

World No. 1, Luke Donald, carded a two-under 69 and trails Ogilvy by eight shots at five-under par.