Golf: Broadhurst rings the changes to swing clear

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The Independent Online
THE STURDY church of St Melleanus perches on top of a hill in St Mellion. For most of yesterday afternoon its bells pealed out cheerfully, their tones echoing around the Cornish countryside.

The bells rang out most of all for Paul Broadhurst, the Midlander who went round the St Mellion course in 67 and has opened up a two-stroke lead after 54 holes of the Benson and Hedges International Open. He is 11 under par while Roger Chapman, Gordon Brand Junior and Jose Maria Olazabal are nine under.

The Jack Nicklaus course at St Mellion is so difficult that incident-free rounds are practically unheard of. Even on a calm, overcast day such as yesterday, not one of the 76 competitors completed their rounds without at least one bogey. Not even Paul Lawrie and Chapman, who each equalled the course record of 65.

'This course is like childbirth,' David Feherty, the Irish Ryder Cup player, said. 'It is a painful, nasty experience but we must forget it from one year to the next because we come back and do it again.'

Thus the secret is to remain as calm and composed as possible when trouble strikes, as it inevitably does, to limit the damage in other words. Heinz-Peter Thul failed to do this, running up a 16 over par score of 88. Nor did Peter Senior, the defending champion who had a six on a par four and a nine on a par five.

For that matter Nick Faldo, the Open champion, made a poor fist of it, too. Although he started with two birdies in the first three holes, he then spoiled it all with five bogeys in a 74, another in the run of bad third rounds that have plagued him lately.

Broadhurst, on the other hand, succeeded admirably in his game plan. Before the start he decided to 'play it sensible, keep it down the middle of the park'. That it worked is borne out by the fact that his 67 was his third round of the week under 70. 'That's the key,' he said. 'Keep the ball in play and let others make mistakes.'

Broadhurst's rebuilding of his swing is clearly bearing fruit. Under the guidance of Bob Torrance he has improved his take-away, changed the position of his club at the top of the backswing and altered it at impact as well. 'It may look the same to you,' said Broadhurst. 'To me it is radically different.'

Chapman made only one mistake - over-fading his drive on the 15th to a position from where he had no chance of going for the green. That apart, Chapman was in complete control.

'I felt better today than I have ever felt before on a golf course,' he said. It was due to regular sessions with Alma Thomas, a sports psychologist who has persuaded him to be more positive. At her behest, Chapman does a lot of mental rehearsal, sometimes playing every shot in a round in his mind before he steps on to the first tee. 'I try to get the feeling of hitting a perfect shot into my head and then recreating it. When it works, as it did today, it's almost as if I've been there.'

Last November, Lawrie began taking tuition from Jim Farmer at St Andrews. Hitting the ball from left to right and low may have been all right in the wind, but it was only half the armoury Lawrie felt he needed to prosper as a touring professional. The 24-year- old had to learn how to hit a high right to left shot as well. St Mellion gave Lawrie and his new swing a stern examination, which he passed with honours.

His day could only have been improved if he had holed a 30- footer for a three on the 18th. That would have given him a 64, set a new course record and won him pounds 4,000, but it was not to be.

BENSON & HEDGES INTERNATIONAL OPEN (St Mellion) Third-round scores (GB and Irl unless stated; * denotes amateur): 205 P Broadhurst 69 69 67. 207 R Chapman 70 72 65; J M Olazabal (Sp) 67 72 68; G Brand Jnr 67 69 71. 208 M James 68 71 69. 209 J Haeggman (Swe) 69 69 71. 212 D A Russell 70 72 70; S Ames (Tri) 75 67 70; A Oldcorn 71 70 71. 213 R Goosen (SA) 76 68 69; V Singh (Fiji) 68 75 70; C Montgomerie 70 72 71; G Evans 72 69 72. 214 P Lawrie 72 77 65; A Gillner (Swe) 74 68 72; N Faldo 70 70 74. 215 D W Basson (SA) 74 71 70; P McGinley 72 70 73. 216 C Mason 74 73 69; M A Jimenez (Sp) 74 73 69; J Sewell 70 76 70; A Hunter 77 68 71; C Rocca (It) 70 72 74. 217 P Curry 72 77 68; M Farry (Fr) 73 74 70; D Gilford 69 76 72; C O'Connor Jnr 71 74 72. 218 S Field 76 71 71; R McFarlane 75 71 72; D Curry 74 71 73; M Roe 73 71 74; D Clarke 76 68 74; M Poxon 72 72 74. 219 J Parnevik (Swe) 81 68 70; J Townsend (US) 72 76 71; T Levet (Fr) 74 73 72; J Carriles (Sp) 75 72 72; M Sunesson (Swe) 75 72 72; G J Brand 69 78 72; S Torrance 71 75 73; M Mackenzie 72 74 73; A Murray 73 72 74; B Lane 69 75 75; R Davis (Aus) 71 73 75; S Struver (Ger) 67 74 78. 220 W Riley (Aus) 75 73 72; D Feherty 77 71 72; P Senior (Aus) 74 69 77. 221 A Forsbrand (Swe) 73 76 72; P Teravainen (US) 75 74 72; H Clark 74 75 72; R Willison 74 73 74; A Sorensen (Den) 74 73 74; P Hall 74 73 74; P Affleck 70 76 75. 222 M Gates 74 74 74; R Karlsson (Swe) 73 74 75; O Sellberg (Swe) 74 71 77. 223 M Lanner (Swe) 76 72 75; G Turner (NZ) 74 73 76; T Johnstone (Zim) 74 71 78. 224 S Bowman (US) 76 73 75; * G Wolstenholme 74 74 76; O Karlsson (Swe) 73 75 76; R Claydon 71 77 76; G Orr 74 73 77; M Mouland 70 77 77; S McAllister 75 70 79. 225 S Richardson 75 74 76; R Boxall 74 75 76; E O'Connell 72 75 78. 226 M McLean 74 73 79. 227 B Malley (US) 74 75 78; V Fernandez (Arg) 73 76 78. 228 P Baker 75 69 84. 235 H-P Thul (Ger) 74 73 88.

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