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Rumford three shots clear

Brett Rumford, finished three strokes clear of the field after the third round of the Australian Masters in Melbourne.

Twenty-three-year-old West Australian Rumford,who was runner-up in the same tournament last year returned a 64, a new course record for a 12-under 204.

Scotland's seven-time European Tour champion Montgomerie after a double bogey at the 2nd joined Aussies Aaron Baddeley and overnight leader Adam Scott on seven-under 209 with a two under par 70.

Rumford, has a three shot lead from American Jim Benepe and Australians Anthony Painter and Brad King.

Former winner Peter Lonard and 49-year-old Rodger Davis were among a group of four on eight-under 208.

Teenager Baddeley, last week's winner of the co-European Tour's Greg Norman International in Sydney, surged into the reckoning when he leapt from equal 52nd to joint 10th with a seven-under 65 to lie five shots behind Rumford.

But Rumford who had eight birdies and no dropped shots said "I was able to capitalise on the shots I did hit close and made a couple of good up and downs out there."

Montgomerie, two shots off the lead when he teed off, remains pleased with his early-season form.

He said: "I am delighted with the way I am playing from tee to green as well as ever, but I just can't score properly yet.

"The way I'm playing I can have a very good round tomorrow, so I'm looking forward to it."

Leading Scores:

204 B Rumford 67 73 64

207 A Painter 69 71 67, J Benepe (USA) 70 70 67, B King 70 68 69

208 N Green 68 73 67, M Cocking 65 75 68, R Davis 69 70 69, P Lonard 70 68 70

209 A Baddeley 72 72 65, P O'Malley 68 72 69, C Montgomerie (Sco) 72 67 70, C Parry 67 72 70, A Scott 71 66 72

210 J Ashcroft 72 70 68, S Alker (Nzl) 72 69 69, D McKenzie 69 72 69, G Coles 72 68 70, R Pampling 69 70 71


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