Rookie Wrestles Away Top Spot


European TourAUCKLAND, New Zealand -- Rookie Oliver Wilson posted a 4-under 68 on Saturday to take the lead after the third round of the Holden New Zealand Open. The Englishman finished 54 holes at 17-under-par 199 in search of his first career victory on the European Tour.
'I'm not nervous at the moment but I probably will be later,' said Wilson. 'I'm sure I will not sleep tonight.'
Fellow countryman Miles Tunnicliff carded a 2-under 70 to keep pace at 16-under-par 200 while Australian Richard Green followed at 14-under-par 202. Sweden's Niclas Fasth, who held the lead heading into the weekend, managed a 75 in the third round to fall back into a tie for fourth with the Australian duo of Simon Nash and Marcus Fraser
Wilson, who was part of the winning Great Britain and Ireland squad at the 2003 Walker Cup, was three shots back to start the day at Gulf Harbour Country Club but a lightning quick start lifted him to the top of the leaderboard.
The 24-year-old birdied each of his first four holes, but back-to-back bogeys from the ninth put him three shots off the lead as Tunnicliff collected four birdies on the outward nine.
Wilson responded with a birdie at the 11th and made it two straight with a birdie at the very next hole. He then reached 18 under with a birdie at the 15th, but gave that shot back with a bogey at the 16th.
After a bogey-free front nine, Tunnicliff found trouble with a bogey at the 10th, but he regained that shot with a birdie at the following hole. Tunnicliff stumbled to another bogey at the 13th, but was able to recover again with a birdie at the 14th.
The 36-year-old faltered down the stretch, however, with back-to-back bogeys starting at the 17th to finish one shot behind Wilson.
Green picked up a pair of birdies at six and seven and added a birdie at the par-4 12th en route to a bogey-free round of 69.
Fasth, who is seeking his first win since the 2000 Madeira Island Open, mixed two birdies with a bogey over his first nine holes before things fell apart on the inward half. Fasth walked away with four bogeys on the back nine, including three dropped shots over his final four holes, to finish four shots back.
Peter O'Malley and Lee Slattery share seventh place at 12-under-par 204.
Craig Parry, who won the Heineken Classic last week, was one shot further back along with Jarrod Moseley, Robert Karlsson, Brett Rumford, Simon Khan, Garry Houston, Jose Manuel Lara, Damien McGrane and Rolf Muntz at 11-under-par 205.
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