Finch takes 3-stroke lead in New Zealand

QUEENSTOWN, New Zealand (AP) — England's Richard Finch shot an 8-under 64 on Saturday to take a three-stroke lead after the third round of the New Zealand Open.

Finch had nine birdies and a bogey to reach 14-under 202 on The Hills course. Australia's Steve Bowditch, the second-round leader, was second after a 71.

Australian veteran Peter Fowler, the 1993 New Zealand Open champion, shot a 10-under 62 to move into third place, four strokes back.

"This is a new position for me and I am unsure what it will be like because I haven't been there before. But I'll try to stick to my usual routines," Finch said.

Bowditch held the lead at 11 under, but a triple bogey at the par-5 ninth cost him momentum. He rebounded to birdie the 12th, 13th and 14th holes.

A late-night swim in icy Lake Wakatipu, the snow-fed jewel of the nearby resort of Queenstown, prepared Fowler for the lowest round of his pro career. He plunged into the lake to cool his anger after a second-round 75.

"I swam 100 meters in the lake and that cooled me off a bit," Fowler said.

"It's part of my recovery anyway. I usually have an ice bath, so it was probably a little bit easier than sitting in a bathtub."

Fowler's round included eight birdies and an eagle. He set a tough benchmark low round for the Hills course, which is barely a year old and hosting a professional tournament for the first time.

The tournament is sanctioned by the Australasian and European tours.

More From the Web

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN