Tournament article

Quayle stands tall in the wind to lead Mizuno Open

Quayle stands tall in the wind to lead Mizuno Open

Anthony Quayle held steady in strong winds yet again, moving a step closer to his maiden JGTO victory and a dream major championship debut after opening a four-shot lead after the third round of the Gateway Open to The Open Mizuno Open on Saturday.

 

The 27-year-old Australian carded a three-under-par 69 at the JFE Setonaikai Golf Club for a three-day total of 12-under-par 204. He mixed five birdies with two bogeys to pull clear of a group of four players that included his compatriot Brad Kennedy and Ryuichi Oiwa, whom he co-led at the halfway stage. 

 

Quayle endured a roller coaster start when he marked birdie-bogey-birdie in the three-hole stretch starting from the second hole. He went on to gain two more shots on seven and 10 to break away from the congested leaderboard.  

 

As the rest in the field struggled with the blustery conditions, even a bogey on 14 did no damage to Quayle as he was quick to make up for that dropped shot with a birdie on the next hole, ensuring he heads into the final round with a commanding advantage.

 

Having just won the Queensland PGA Championship in Australia earlier this year, Quayle is convinced that he's "experienced" enough to get the job done.

 

"Just a few months back, I won a tournament in Australia, and I had a six-shot lead going into the last round at that time. So, it wasn't too long ago that I was in the same position," said Quayle.

 

"I have not won in Japan before, but I have won two titles in Australia. They (winning experiences) have allowed me to go out tomorrow and be confident as I have been in this position, and won from this position before, so that definitely helps."

 

Quayle had earlier stressed the importance of staying patient and is certainly reaping the rewards from staying level-headed.

 

Quayle was one of the only two players who shot a sub-70 score today besides Shintaro Kobayashi. 

 

"I just stayed patient, although the wind was a little bit tricky. I gave myself more chances to probably shoot a better score, and I also saved myself from a couple of situations. 

 

"I feel like my game is good enough to win at a very high level, and the thing I have to focus on is making sure I stay patient, and I don't get too ahead of myself like getting too angry, too upset or too happy, just stay in the middle."

 

With a start at the 150th Open at St. Andrews, also within sights, Quayle has vowed not to get carried away.

 

"I think what I'm going to try to do tomorrow is win this golf tournament, and whatever happens," he said.

 

"I don't think I'm going to be worrying about anything else. All I need to do is to stay in control of my emotion and try to go out there and shoot the best score tomorrow."

 

Kennedy, meanwhile, was left kicking himself after being pegged back by three bogeys in the closing stretch.

 

To his credit, he managed to pull one back to sit in a tie for second place and put himself on the fringe of contention.

 

Earlier, the 47-year-old enjoyed a solid start by trading four birdies against a lone bogey in his first seven holes.

 

"I didn't do a lot wrong. I played really nicely in the wind. It was tricky. The breeze was switching. I just need to take some positives out of it and come back stronger tomorrow," he said.

 

"I've got a lot of work to do. I got to play twice as good as Anthony in front. When he comes back, he's going to keep going forward.

 

"So, I got to expect myself to be shooting five or six-under to put the pressure on him.

 

"There are also a few other guys who're on eight-under as well, plenty to play for, but I'll be out there just focusing on my game tomorrow. If I can do that well, then I feel like I can be at my best."