Adam Scott will take a three-shot lead into the final round of the Australian PGA Championship at Royal Pines Resort after carding an even-par 71 in windy conditions on Saturday. The US Masters champion started the day with a two-shot buffer but briefly relinquished the lead with consecutive bogeys on the 7th and 8th holes. He rallied on the back nine, posting birdies on both par fives to get back to level par for the round and 10 under overall. American Rickie Fowler (71) and veteran David McKenzie (72) lead the chasing pack in a share of second spot, one clear of Michael Wright (68) and Steven Jeffress (71). Marc Leishman carded a three-under 68 to sit in a five-way share of fifth with Jack Wilson (69), Ashley Hall (71), Nathan Green (73) and Gareth Paddison (73). Cameron Percy fired the joint low round of the day, a four-under 67, to get to four under. Nick Flanagan (minus three) and Peter Cooke (two under) also signed for 67s. “I think it was a grind for everyone, I didn&apost see too many good scores out there,” said Scott, who will play alongside Fowler in the final group on Sunday. “The course was playing tricky, obviously the wind gusting across the greens made it hard to make a lot of putts. “I certainly didn&apost have the eye in and when I forced it I three-putted one so I figured it wasn&apost my day and just tried to play a little better on the back nine and managed to do that.” McKenzie held the outright lead briefly on Saturday but bogeyed the par-four 9th to fall back into a three-way tie for the lead with Fowler and Scott at minus eight. Fowler then missed a half-metre par putt at the par-five 12th to fall out of the lead. Playing in the group behind, Scott found the green in two to set up an easy birdie and reclaim the outright lead. He doubled his advantage with a solid up-and-down for par at the 14th from just off the green just moments after his playing partner McKenzie made bogey. Fowler&aposs frustrations on the greens continued, his three-metre birdie putt lipped out at the par-five 15th to remain two shots back. Scott used his prodigious length to open up a three-shot advantage with a birdie at the 15th. He smashed a 345-metre drive down the middle of the fairway and hit a nine iron to 6m to make an easy four as McKenzie had to settle for par. Fowler picked up a shot with a birdie at the par-three 16th to join McKenzie three shots back. Scott missed the green from the fairway at the closing hole but got up-and-down to complete his level-par round.
Author: Steve Orme, Omnisport