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Pampling Leads Australian Open

November 27, 2004

SYDNEY, Australia (AP) _ Australia’s Rod Pampling took a one-stroke lead into the final round of the centennial Australian Open, shooting a 3-over 74 on Saturday on The Australian Golf Club course.

Pampling, who won The International in August for his first PGA Tour victory, had a 5-under 208 total on the historic course, also the site of the inaugural tournament in 1904. He began the round with a four-stroke lead over countryman Kurt Barnes after consecutive 67s, but dropped three strokes on the first five holes.

``If I can shoot 1 under or even par tomorrow that might be enough to win it,″ Pampling said.

Australian left-hander Richard Green was second after a 67, and Barnes was another stroke behind after a 72. Stuart Appleby (72) and Paul Gow (71) were 2 under and Colombia’s Camilo Villegas (69) followed at 1 under.

Green chipped in twice, putted just 22 times and had five sand saves.

``Another day like today should do the job,″ Green said. ``When I play well I swing smoothly and don’t exert myself too much. If I can do the same tomorrow, I think it will be good enough.″

Bob Estes was the top American, shooting a 70 to join a group at even par. Corey Pavin, the 1995 U.S. Open winner, was 6 over after a 74.

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