Birdie blitz sees Rumford hit the front

4/28/2013 5:24:00 AM
Brett Rumford  (Getty Images)
Brett Rumford (Getty Images)
Brett Rumford turned in a brilliant six under par 30 at Blackstone Golf Club to establish a two shot lead midway through the final round of the Ballantine’s Championship.

The Australian, who finished his third round with five consecutive birdies, took that run to seven when he opened with a 20 footer on the first green then fired his approach to five feet at the next.

The three-time European Tour winner then had three pars but a bunker shot to three feet at the sixth sparked a run of four straight birdies as he raced to 13 under par in his bid to enter the winner’s circle for the first time since 2007.

Rumford’s compatriot and 2010 winner Marcus Fraser was two behind after playing his first ten holes in four under, alongside Peter Whiteford.

The 32 year old Scot, seeking his first European Tour title, holed an 18 footer at third and from ten feet at the fourth before adding a third birdie of the day at the eighth.

Overnight leader Alex Noren picked up a penalty shot at the second – his ball moving a fraction as he addressed his par putt – and then double bogeyed the tenth for the second time this week to slip into a tie for fourth with Romain Wattel on eight under.

Rumford looked to be cruising to victory until he double bogeyed the 17th, slipping back into a tie for the lead with Fraser and Whiteford.