Round 3 reaction: Gippsland Super 6 - PGA of Australia

Round 3 reaction: Gippsland Super 6

The leaders and major movers share their thoughts on round three and preparing for Sunday’s match play knockout conclusion.

Deyen Lawson (70, No.1)

On his mindset in the third round

“The goal obviously was to finish in the top eight for the match play but I still wanted to have the best stroke play score, even though you don’t get anything for it. It’s always good to finish on top.”

On the mindset shift for the match play

“I’ve trying to feel that way every day but this time I actually am starting from scratch. Obviously being match play it’s a little bit different. You play your own game most of the time but then there are times where if they hit it in close or hit it in a position that isn’t good, sometimes par is good or sometimes you have to be really aggressive. Being six holes, anyone can win six holes. Just beat the person you’re playing each time rather than anything else.”

On adopting an aggressive mindset

“Sometimes you can be fortunate and play poorly but the other guy just plays worse or sometimes you can play really well and get beaten by someone playing better.”

On whether the bye is an advantage

“If you had to play the first round and you didn’t win it would be a huge advantage. The guy we’re going to be coming up against, the eight guys who get a bye, they’ve just had a win and have played the six holes we’re going to be playing. It’s good to have a bye but we’re going to be playing a guy who has just won and feeling confident and has just played the six holes. It’s an interesting one.”

On the dangerous players in Sunday’s format

“The guys who played just OK today and just scraped into the 24, they’re going into tomorrow feeling like they’re starting again. If there was a four-round tournament they’re not really going into tomorrow feeling like they can win. They’d be six shots back rather than all starting afresh. Guys like Tim who played well today, he’s going to be feeling good because not only did he get through but he’s not actually five back anymore. He’s got in and we’re all level. Any of the 24 guys now could win, where if it was four rounds there is probably only three or four guys who could win. If I was the guy in 24th spot I’d be feeling bloody great. I’ve just snuck in, let’s start again. The guy who has finished eighth is probably feeling the best. He’s four back but he’s now in the exact same position as me. It’s exciting for anyone watching tomorrow because genuinely anyone can win.”

Tim Hart (64, No.10)

On shooting a course record 8-under 64

“I got out to the course and there was not a breath of wind and the course was looking pretty easy. I knew I had to shoot at least 6 or 7-under to have a chance so absolutely went as aggressive as I could with everything. I still played a couple of holes just with irons off tees because there are a few trees around on some of the holes but for the most part played pretty aggressive. It was good to get those early birdies, get under par and when I get hot I like to keep pressing and lucky enough to do it today.”

On making four birdies in a row before the turn

“It was nice to get on a bit of a roll there and give myself a chance going to the front nine. I started holing a few good putts which I hadn’t done the past two days to be honest. It was nice to see the ball going in and once it starts going in you visualise it better and they started dropping.”

On the opportunity ahead of him on Sunday

“The holes they have picked out definitely play into my game. A lot of drivers in those few holes, I can reach one of the par 4s. You’ve got to be aggressive in a six-hole shootout with anyone. Everyone’s a good player, especially the guys who have made it through. It’s going to be foot to the floor and try and make as many birdies as I can. Definitely a good opportunity coming from the pro-ams. I’ve played pretty well the last week in the pro-ams which has given me a good run into this event. Happy to sneak through and hopefully can get it going tomorrow.”

On what a win would mean for his immediate future

“That’s definitely something that’s on my mind. I won’t let it consume my mind but it’s definitely there. I’ve got to get through the first few rounds to even start thinking about that sort of stuff. It’s definitely a course and a format that I feel pretty comfortable in. I like my chances tomorrow to make a run.”

Daniel Hillier (64, No.3)

On equal course record 8-under 64

“It was pretty awesome out there today. Started off really well with an eagle on 11 and managed to make the turn at 4-under with a pretty weak bogey on 17 from just short of the green. Managed to come back pretty quickly after that and nice birdie on the last to finish off a good day.”

On the friendlier conditions

“The conditions were pretty benign this morning so made the most of that and rolled in a few good putts along the way. Just made the most of a course that was playing relatively easy.”

On the advantage of having a bye for round one of the match play

“It will be nice to have a bit of a sleep-in. Six holes, anything can happen. We just brought the same format in back home in New Zealand which I managed to play quite well at (winning the Brian Green Property Group New Zealand Super 6’s at Manawatu Golf Club) so looking forward to giving it another run this week.”

On the game plan for match play

“The same that I’ve had all week. Relatively aggressive. Nothing stupid but enough to give me some really good chances if I’m hitting the ball well off the tee. Eep doing that and then hopefully if I shoot well I’ll be in that final match.”

On arriving from New Zealand

“I managed to come in on Saturday and luckily for us we don’t have to quarantine on the way here but at the moment two-week quarantine on the way back home. Should be interesting but you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do. I’ll hopefully play all seven events, it just depends on the quarantine situation back home whether I play NSW Open or not. Should be a good little stint.”

Marcus Fraser (66, No.5)

On bouncing back after shooting 74 on Friday

“It was pretty steady today. Yesterday wasn’t great but managed to sort a few things out today. I didn’t really prepare enough for those kind of conditions. It was my own doing, I just wasn’t sharp enough but felt pretty comfortable out there today. There was a lot of good golf today which was nice.”

On making a push to qualify in the top eight

“Around the turn I gave myself a bit of a talking to to try and get a wriggle on. I really wanted to try and get into the top eight and I made an 8-footer for par on the last so it looks like it’s going to be good enough to get a bye through the first round which is pretty good. I was a couple under and not really doing much wrong but I just wasn’t making anything. Then all of a sudden got going. I hit a poor shot into the 10th hole but after that I made three birdies in a row and got going.”

On advantage of a round one bye

“Because it’s a stroke aggregate for the six holes it’s a bit different from a head-to-head. We’re already playing stroke in the tournament anyway and to go out and play another six holes of stroke is fine. It is nice to get rewarded for playing well the first three days and get that bye.”

On career match play experience

“I played the WGC World Match Play a couple of times. I beat Keegan Bradley the first time I played and then got knocked out by Freddie Jacobson the second round. When I went back and played in Texas it was a round robin and I didn’t make it through that one. It’s nice to have something a bit different, especially in Australian golf.”

On keeping track of the opponent’s score

“Especially the last couple of holes, depending on what the score is, is probably going to dictate your own play a little bit. Especially if you go a couple of shots up with one or two holes to go. It really puts the pressure on that person whose down to make a birdie and try and force an error. Anything can happen in six holes. You can play OK and get bundled out.”

On balance of aggression and course management

“You’re going to have to be aggressive. Over six holes, if you try and play cautiously at some point it’s going to catch you out. You’re going to have to be aggressive and even if you’re out of position try and salvage a par somehow and limit the damage. If you make a double bogey in six holes you’re pretty much gone I’d think. There’s going to be a bit of strategy to it but you’re going to have to be aggressive for sure.”

Maverick Antcliff (64, No.11)

On fighting back from 1-over to shoot 65

“I got off to a start like I have the last couple of days. I just wasn’t putting very well and then hit a few good putts that didn’t go in at 15 and 16 and then holed a nice one on 18 from about 14 feet up the hill. I hit a decent drive down there and only had 30 metres in and I just really wanted to keep it below the hole so I could have a good run at it. Got one at one and two and then had a bit of momentum on my side. It was nice to get on a bit of a run.”

On the conditions

“Yesterday afternoon was tricky. You hit a decent shot and it might pitch pin high, go a couple of yards past and then you’ve got a 15-foot slider down the hill that goes four-feet past the hole. You had to be mentally pretty sharp yesterday, particularly on the greens. It was a different wind too to the practice rounds so you had to pay attention the whole way around. If you weren’t prepared to do that you were going to struggle a little bit. I actually felt like I played a lot better than what I scored.”

On finding confidence with the putter

“I’d been hitting a lot of good shots and I just hadn’t holed much all week. I just tried to keep telling myself to keep doing what I was doing and that things would eventually turn around. Even when the ones that don’t go in are good, solid putts, you gain confidence from that. I was just trying to stick to my process and routine and let the rest take care of itself. It was obviously very nice to get it going when I needed to.”

On when he will return to European Tour

“Those tournaments early on, they struggle to get starts for guys who managed to keep their card. There are a lot of guys getting appearance money and they’re trying to get those fields as strong as possible. I played Saudi last year but this year I think a lot of guys are being paid to play. I’ve got my passport handy if something happens but right now I’m concentrating on playing these events in Melbourne and using them as a warm-up before I head over to Oman and Qatar as my first two events on the European Tour.”

On his recent match play experience

“Probably the US Amateur back in 2015. It’s been a while but you’ve only got to win three of the holes and you’ll be all right.”

On the tactics for a tricky layout such as Yallourn

“Match play is totally different. If you can hit fairways and greens and apply pressure, obviously if they hit a few loose ones or they’re out of position it gets a little bit trickier with the greens being hard and fast. Just applying pressure through good golf and take it from there. You can make a lot of birdies out here so there should be some good matches. All of these guys are good players so you’ve just got to beat whoever is in front of you to make the final.”

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