More of the same. That’s the simple approach Queensland’s Maverick Antcliff will take into tonight’s third and final round as he chases a breakthrough European Tour title at the 54-hole Porsche European Open in Germany.
Opening the tournament with a bogey-free 1-under par 71, Antcliff continued in steady fashion through his second round before catching fire late, coming home with three straight birdies and almost winning a Porsche Taycan Turbo S Cross Turismo in the process.
Following a birdie from eight feet at the par-5 16th, Antcliff almost holed his tee shot at the par-3 17th that would have yielded a reward to savour from the title sponsor and then added a third birdie to close out a round of 4-under 68.
Antcliff will start the final round tied with Englishman Matthew Southgate at 5-under par and with a one-stroke lead over a group of four players and with a clear picture of what’s necessary to join the list of Aussie winners on the European Tour.
“Keep doing the same. Good golf gets you into good positions. Keep doing that, good results happen,” Antcliff said.
“I’m hitting fairways, greens. If you get a good number or angle just got to try and take advantage of it.”
Also seeking a first European Tour title, Southgate had four birdies and two bogeys in his round of 3-under 69 and believes driving has been key to his impressive showing thus far.
“I’ve driven it particularly well,” Southgate said. “It’s a strength of my game. Every tee I’ve taken a couple of deep breaths and stick to the process of what I do every week.
“The fairways are narrow for everyone and I’ve thought for a while that I’m one of the best drivers of the ball in the world.
“Just trying to have positive thoughts, let it go, don’t steer it from the tee and it’s worked through 36 holes.”
Chasing a US Open berth via the three-event qualifying series in Europe Jason Scrivener (70) is the next best of the Australians in a tie for 19th with Kiwis Ryan Fox and Josh Geary one stroke further back in a tie for 32nd.
Dimi Papadatos is the only other Australian to have made the cut and will start the third and final round at 3-over after rounds of 72-75.
It was a week that Scott Hend will be eager to forget quickly after his golf clubs and luggage failed to turn up in time for Saturday’s first round.
With a borrowed bag of mis-matched clubs taken from a number of different players, Hend managed to break 80 in the first round before adding a second round of 4-over 76.