Scott Pulling Away in Beijing


BEIJING -- Adam Scott is 4 under par through 11 holes of his third round Saturday at the Johnnie Walker Classic. That puts the 10th-ranked player in the world at 19 under par for the event, which is good for a six-shot lead as play was called because of darkness.
The tournament is almost caught up from Thursday when only three hours of golf were played. Heavy wind caused the suspension of the first round, but after playing as much golf as possible on Friday and Saturday, the event should finish on time Sunday afternoon.
Forty-eight players will return to Pine Valley Golf Resort and Country Club at 7:50 a.m. local time to complete the third round. The final round is scheduled to begin at 12:45 p.m. local time.
Henrik Stenson is 6-under par through 13 holes of his third round. That puts the Swede in second place at 13 under par, where Gary Rusnak joined him. Rusnak is 2 under so far in round three.
Scott played his entire second round on Saturday and finished with a four-shot lead. He had a chance to extend that margin at the first, but missed a makeable birdie try. Scott did not squander such opportunities at the second when he two-putted from 18 feet for birdie and at the third when he sank a 12-footer.
Those birdies only allowed him to keep pace with his closest pursuers, but Scott's length came in handy at the 358-yard fifth. He only had a short pitch for his second and stopped the ball 2 feet from the hole. The Australian tapped in for birdie and a five-shot lead.
Scott's only hiccup of the third round came at the par-3 sixth. His tee ball landed on the back fringe and his second came up 4 feet short. He pushed his par putt and took only his second bogey of the tournament.
Scott rebounded at the par-5 eighth. His second landed in a greenside bunker right of the hole, but he blasted out to 4 feet and converted the birdie putt. Scott collected his third birdie in as many rounds at the ninth, when he drained a 20-footer.
At the 10th, he needed to hole a 4-footer to save par and keep his momentum going. He did just that, then parred the 11th hole in the waning light. Scott and his playing partners never made it to the 12th tee before the horn sounded.
'It was a long day but a good day and I did what I had to do because I knew the guys behind me were going to make birdies if there was no wind so that worked well,' said Scott. 'Hopefully we can get some nice conditions tomorrow and everything keeps rolling along as it is because I feel comfortable.'
Scott will be in search of his fifth victory on the European Tour. In three of those wins, Scott held at least a piece of the lead heading into the final round. In two of them, he had at least a three-shot lead at the halfway point.
'Well when you are playing nicely and have the momentum going you always want to keep on going but it is no use playing in the dark,' said Scott, who won this year's weather-shortened Nissan Open on the PGA Tour. 'I was just trying to plug away and hit one shot at a time and that is what I will continue to do tomorrow.'
Stenson birdied three in a row from the 10th to climb up the leaderboard, while Rusnak, who was alone in second after 36 holes, birdied his final two holes to join Stenson in second.
Two-time and reigning U.S. Open champion Retief Goosen, who won this title in 2002, is three-under on his round and would have been closer to the lead, but he bogeyed the 11th, his final hole of the day. He is tied for fourth place at 12-under par with Steven O'Hara (13 holes) and Richard Sterne (11 holes).
Luke Donald (65), Scott Drummond (65) and Prayad Marksaeng (66) share the clubhouse lead at 11-under-par 205. Wade Ormsby and David Park are each 5 under on their rounds and will return Sunday morning to finish.
Ernie Els and K.J. Choi headline a group tied for 12th at 10 under par, while Sergio Garcia and Colin Montgomerie are a shot a behind. All four players have holes to play in their third rounds.
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