MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Sweden’s Daniel Chopra shot a 7-under 65 on Saturday to take a one-stroke lead over Australians Aaron Baddeley and Kurt Barnes after the third round of the Australian Masters.
Chopra, the winner of the PGA Tour’s Ginn sur Mer Classic in late October in Florida, had a 12-under 204 total on the Huntingdale course. He had eight birdies and needed only 23 putts.
“I’ve been coming here for years, it’s like a second home,” said Chopra, whose only bogey Saturday was on the par-3 12th. “I haven’t had one of those rounds for a while where I got everything going, and today was the day.”
Barnes also shot a 65, and Baddeley had a 69.
Australia’s Rod Pampling (67) was 9 under, and second-round leader Robert Allenby (73) was 8 under along with fellow Australian Stuart Appleby (68) and England’s Richard Finch. Allenby won the 2004 and 2005 tournaments.
Rory McIlroy, the 18-year-old Northern Ireland player who turned pro in September after finishing as low amateur in the British Open, was 7 under after a 70.
Chopra said the conditions were ideal for scoring.
“The wind was down. I needed to score,” Chopra said. “My plan was to get a good start. I managed to do that, scrambled a couple and then got on a roll.”
The event is sanctioned by the European and Australasian tours.