Senden Regains Lead in Australian Open

John Senden took back the top spot in the Australian Open after carding a 2-under 70 on yet another blustery day at the wind-whipped Lakes Golf Club in Sydney.

Senden, who carded a 6-under 66 to take the first-round lead Thursday, posted three birdies, three bogeys and an eagle on the par-5 11th hole for his 2-under effort.

Entering the final round, the 41-year-old Aussie stands at 7-under 209, two strokes ahead of England's Justin Rose, who also shot a 70. Senden would like nothing more than add a second Australian Open title to his trophy cabinet.

"Winning the national Open is always a dream, but there is a long way to go," said Senden, whose first victory came in 2006 at Royal Sydney. "I have to concentrate on what I do. It would be my best year but the last two years have been pretty good."

Rose played steadily all day, at least before reaching the final two holes. Rose was sailing along at 4-under through 16 before he bogeyed the par-5 17th and par-3 18th. "It got progressively tougher as the day went on," Rose said of the increasingly powerful winds.

"Towards the end of the round it was tough even to tap in. From three feet you would be buffeted around. It took a very good putt to get the ball in the hole."

Yet Rose, the top-ranked player in the field at No. 4 in the world, likes his position heading into Sunday's final round. "I have been in contention quite a lot this year. I am beginning to feel comfortable with it and enjoy it, relish it," Rose said.

"There are a lot of class players in this field. There is a home course advantage. The Australian guys will be more familiar with these conditions but I definitely feel good about my chances."

Sharing third at 4-under 212 are three Aussies, Keiran Pratt (70), Peter Senior (69) and Matthew Jones (69). Senior, a regular on the U.S. Champions Tour, has posted a 68 and 69 since opening with a 75.

Also in the hunt at 213 are American Kyle Stanley (70) and Aussies Stuart Appleby (70) and Cameron Percy (72).

Second-round leader Marcus Fraser fell down the leaderboard into ninth at 214 after a 76. He's tied with No. 7-ranked Adam Scott (71) and seven others.

After opening with a 78, Tom Watson rebounded with a 68 Friday to make the cut. But the 63-year-old World Golf Hall of Fame member had a tough time Saturday, shooting another 78 to go to 8-over 224.

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