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OHern Maintains Lead Campbell Charging

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Nick O'Hern steadied himself late Saturday afternoon, shooting 69 and taking outright command of the Heineken Classic in Perth, Australia. The 29-year-old homelander leads the field by two shots at 12-under-par 204.
 
In second place, however, is the defending champion Michael Campbell. Campbell produced a sparkling round of golf on Day 3, shooting 67, and moving to 10-under for the tournament. Co-leader through two rounds, Steen Tinning shares a spot of joint third with two others at 9-under.
 
For a while on Saturday, it appeared that O'Hern would certainly not be the one in pole position entering the final day at the Vines Resort. Through his first five holes, he was 2-over on the day, and had actually fallen four shots behind playing partner Tinning.
 
That's when his caddie, English-born James `Wilbur' Williams, intervened and settled him down, O'Hern said.
 
'Wilbur said to me that we had more than 30 holes to go, so there was no cause for panic at the start of the third round,' he said.
 
'I eased myself into the round and I stayed patient. It seemed to do the trick.'
 
It must have. O'Hern went on to record five birdies against no bogies over his last 13 holes to finish on the mark of 12-under.
 
Tinning, on the other hand, played the remaining stretch in 2-over. The 39-year-old Dane did not play poorly until the final two holes, however, when he carded back-to-back black numbers.
 
Although he is not leading, perhaps the biggest story of the day, and the player most favored to win, is Campbell. His 67 Saturday was the direct result of an inward half of 5-under 31, and he likes his chances to repeat as champion.
 
'I'm only two shots behind, so I've put myself in contention,' he said. 'This golf course and I get on very well. It's incredible how I just love this golf course.'
 
Those words might come as a tough pill to swallow for O'Hern. It was here last year that Campbell produced a final round of 66 to claim the title, and with talk like that, he seems rather confident that he could go out and do it again Sunday.
 
One player who has long been know for his love affair with certain courses and the game in general is Greg Norman. The 47-year-old bounced back from a Friday 73 with a Saturday 70, but at 7-under for the tournament, may be just a bit too far back to have any kind of a real shot of winning.
 
Norman is tied on the mark with three others, most notably David Smail of New Zealand. Smail went around the Vines in 66 Sunday, and for the third week in a row now, seems to be continuing his scintillating run of great golf. Last week he won the Australasian Tour's Canon Challenge and the week before that, he took the New Zealand Open. Another 66 or better on Sunday, and the golf world will be forced to rank Smail amongst the hottest players in the world.
 
Click here for Full-Field scores from the Heineken Classic!