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Daniel throws down the gauntlet in Norwich

Daniel throws down the gauntlet in Norwich

April 28th, 2010

Daniel Gaunt leads The Motocaddy Masters at Wensum Valley Hotel Golf and Country Club at seven under par – four shots clear of a group of four players ahead of the final round.

Gaunt began the day four strokes behind leader Dale Marmion at three under par but piled on the pressure by posting a round of 68 before Marmion (Eaton GC) went out in the afternoon. The Australian dropped a shot on the third to fall further behind but his fortunes began to turn with a birdie at the eighth. He then made a move on the back nine with birdies at 11, 12 and 14, finding a fifth birdie of the day at the last for a 68 to put him on seven under.

Marmion stepped onto the first tee in the afternoon as the wind began to stiffen and the 2008 Order of Merit runner-up found the going tough. He began his round with two bogeys and picked up a third at the fifth – dropping further shots at 10 and 15 with just a solitary birdie at the 14th seeing him join a group of four in second spot chasing Gaunt.

“Three shots is a substantial lead out there and I know if I can go three or four under again it’ll take something special to beat me,” said Gaunt. “It’ll be won on the last six or seven holes where there are some chances but if the wind is like it is today it’ll be really tough.

“It was a bit of a grind out there and I got a bit lucky but you have to take advantage and I did just that,” added the 31 year-old.

Barry Hume (Haggs Castle) matched Gaunt’s four under par 68 to move to three under for the tournament after an opening round of 73 – recovering from a bogey at the second by bagging pairs of birdies at three and four and 11 and 12 before picking up another one at the last. Paul O’Hanlon (Curragh) and Nicky Harris (Whitefield GC) complete the quartet in second, both carding rounds of 70 to sit at three under for the tournament.

Kieran Staunton (Woodcote Park) and Matt Allen both picked up three birdies on the front nine to card rounds of 70 and sit at two under for the tournament, alongside James Webber (Three Rivers GC), who carded a 71. James Hepworth (Ilkley GC) joins the group of five tied for sixth spot at two under, following a round of 68 with four bogeys in his first ten holes before ending with two birdies for a two over par 74 in his second round. The group was completed by Andrew Johnston (North Middlesex) in the final three-ball after he shot 70.

Andrew Marshall’s challenge fell away in the afternoon as the wind picked up on the course. Marshall began the day at two under par, but four bogeys in his first eight holes put pay to any thoughts of winning the tournament. He stopped the rot with a birdie at the ninth but he cancelled that out with another bogey at the tenth, going down the rest of the back nine level to finish with a 76 and sit two over ahead of the final round.

“I played average, putted poorly and only got one birdie,” said Marshall of his effort. “There was a stiff breeze out there in the afternoon and some tricky flags but I’ve just got to go out all guns blazing now tomorrow.”

Current Norfolk number one Neil Lythgoe (Royal Norwich) played with Marshall over the two rounds, but was unable to make up ground after a six over par 78 – a 74 in his second round ending his involvement a day early.

Live scoring from the final round of The Motocaddy Masters at Wensum Valley Hotel Golf and Country Club is available at www.europrotour.com begins at 8am on Thursday morning (April 29), with 55 players making the cut at three over.

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