THE defending champions are leading the charge into today’s final round of the City of Orange Golf Championships.
Robert Payne and Alison Seib, who took out last year’s men’s and women’s titles respectively, are on top of the open standings heading into today’s last round at Orange Ex-Services Country Club.
Seib carded an opening round of 77 at Duntryleague on Saturday followed by 82 at Wentworth yesterday for a total of 159.
Her nearest rival is Port Kembla’s Colleen Bell who had 79 at Duntryleague and 85 at Wentworth for a 164 total.
With rest of the women’s field more than 10 shots behind, it looks like Seib and Bell will be fighting it out today for the women’s 54-hole title at the Country Club.
If Seib gets the win, it will be her third City of Orange women’s title in a row.
Payne will be hoping to maintain his unbeaten run at the City of Orange event.
A solid two-under 68 at Wentworth yesterday pushed him to the front after carding five-over 75 at Duntryleague on Saturday.
Payne’s 143 total is one better than young gun Min Cheng’s who had 73 at Duntryleague and 71 at Wentworth for 144.
Duntryleague’s Rob Parfett was the leader after a rain-soaked opening day at Duntryleague with his 71.
However he carded 79 at Wentworth yesterday for a 150 total and will need to produce an outstanding score at the Country Club today to put himself in contention for the main prize.
Other players who were within a few shots of Parfett on Saturday, such as Dean Turner and Craig Stojanovic, found the going harder at Wentworth yesterday and slipped out of contention for the overall prize.
Payne has won the Championship from 1996-99, 2001, 2003-07, 2010 and 2011.
That is every year he has contested the event.
The title was originally decided by accumulating the results from the three open events in Orange.
In 2008 the format changed to a three-day tournament over Orange’s courses.
The final round will be played at the Orange Ex-Services Country Club today.
A presentation for the men and women will be held today following the event at the Country Club.