Hunter hopes fade at The Lakes 

THE chances of a Hunter golfer figuring in the big money tomorrow at the Australian Open appears slim, after a mostly disappointing third round for locals at The Lakes today.

Charlestown’s James Nitties was the only one of the six Hunter golfers, who made the cut, to card a below-par round.

While Nitties’ opening day of 77 was marred by the pre-round altercation between his caddie Grant Buchanan and Marc Leishman’s bag man Matt Kelly, the US-based pro found his touch today.

Nitties shot 69 in a round of six birdies and three bogeys to be 271, one-over par and 33rd on the leaderboard.

Leader John Senden is eight strokes ahead at seven under. 

Waratah’s Leigh McKechnie was the top Hunter golfer heading into the third round at one-under, but his round of 75 today has crushed his chances as he dropped to 40th at two over.

Belmont’s Nick Flanagan (74) fell to three over as he struggled to continue his first-day form.

Toronto’s Nathan Green produced a birdie-free round of 77 to be six over and Charlestown’s Jake Higginbottom (77) finished with only one birdie to be eight over.

Muswellbrook’s Kurt Barnes (78) is propping up the leaderboard at 225, nine over.  

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