The Pacific Coast Amateur looks a race in five – and none of them, sadly, are Australian.
On a day when the majority of the leading contenders took backward strides, not one of the 10 Australians could shoot better than 74 at the demanding Seattle Golf Club, missing an opportunity to slide into the title mix.
Only three of the field broke 70 – and one of those was defending champion Corey Pereira, whose 66 catapulted him to a tie for 10th after starting at nine over.
But his fellow Californians, Rico Hoey and Nahum Mendoza shared the third-round lead at five under, one clear of Thailand’s K.K. Limbhasut who stumbled with a 75, but remains one of just five players in red figures with a round to play.
Sydney’s Ruben Sondjaja had worked his way into contention at two under until a horror eight-hole stretch cost him a realistic victory chance. A double and four bogeys between the seventh and 14th holes sent the University of Iowa State standout to a 75, still the leading Aussie at three over.
Melbourne’s Brett Coletta (75 for four over) and Sydney’s Cameron Davis (76 for five over) each suffered late double-bogeys to drop them from the title race, with fellow national squad member Cameron John (75) also at six over.
Zach Murray again showed positive signs, but a forgettable five-hole stretch from 13-17 dropped him from one over to seven over and a 76.
Troy Moses (75) finished at eight over, David Micheluzzi (74) nine over, Anthony Quayle (75) nine over, Fred Lee (77) 10 over and Kiran Day (75) at 14 over to cap a bleak day for the Aussies.