Appleby shoots 66 at wind-delayed Australian Open


SYDNEY – Stuart Appleby shot consecutive 6-under 66s and held a two-stroke lead in the third round of the wind-suspended Australian Open.

Appleby played two holes Friday then went through a near 6-hour suspension due to gusting winds on the oceanside links-style New South Wales Golf Course. His 36-hole total of 132 included five birdies, a bogey and an eagle on the par-5 18th, which was his ninth hole in the second round.

Adam Scott reduced Appleby’s six-stroke lead to two when completed his second round Saturday morning, also shooting 66. Scott Hend, who shared the lead with Appleby after the first round, finished with a 71 and was five shots back in third place.

John Daly completed his second round Saturday with a 69 and was at 3-under 141, nine shots behind. Daly was set to make the cut after failing to qualify for the weekend at all three Australian tournaments he played last year – the Open, Masters and PGA.

It was the third time in eight years that the country’s most prestigious tournament had been interrupted because putting became impossible.

“The powers that be didn’t get it right,” Appleby said. “It unfortunately seems to be an Australian Open tradition.”

Australian Brett Rumford made an 8 at the par-3 second after his tee shot settled near the flag.

As Rumford prepared to putt, a gust of wind blew his ball off the green. After consulting two rules officials Rumford decided to chip it back on, from where he three-putted. He was subsequently penalized one shot for addressing a moving ball and two more for not replacing it, and shot 78.