December 13, Gold Coast - Defending champion Adam Scott, former OneAsia Order of Merit winner Scott Strange and joint-overnight leader Wade Ormsby share a one-shot lead over the rest of the field going into the final day’s play at the Australian PGA Championship after a blustery Saturday at RACV Royal Pines Resort.
Scott hit a second successive round of 69 in the OneAsia event to join Ormsby and Strange – who both completed the third round in 71 strokes – on 10-under par, one shot clear of Jason Scrivener and Boo Weekley.
The world number three birdied all four par-fives on the course as he maintained a consistency that has seen him hit scores under 70 on each of the three rounds while Ormsby sunk a 20-metre putt on the final hole to remain alongside his playing partners at the top of the leaderboard.
“It was good today to make up a couple of shots and at least get in a share of the lead and stay in the final group for tomorrow,” said Scott. “But it’s a really bunched leaderboard and whoever has a good round tomorrow is going to be able to do it.
“It’s a good course to post a number on and the guys behind will certainly have that opportunity. But if I keep playing solid and give myself some chances, hopefully I’ll make a couple more.
“For me, tomorrow I need to go out and get off to a good start. That’s the best thing I can do for so many reasons, to give myself an advantage whether it’s from a crowd cheering perspective and just the rhythm of the tournament perspective.
“Apart from me, you’ve got Boo one back and any of these guys can get off to a good start and there’s no reason why not. They’re all sitting right there and the soft conditions are rewarding good shots, so it’s really important for me to start well tomorrow.”
New Zealand’s Michael Hendry hit the best round of the day when he claimed a 67 to move up to fifth in the standings, just two shots behind the leading trio.
Hendry, winner of the Indonesian Open in 2010 on OneAsia, had a bogey-free round to pull himself into contention for his first title since claiming the Starwood Classic in Fiji in June last year.
“It was pretty tough out there today, especially those last five or six holes where you come back,” he said. “Every shot seems to be off the left or right and that’s where I started to find it tough.
“I made a solid enough start and I managed to make a few birdies through the middle at the easier holes today.
“It’s a nice to be in a position to have a chance. It’s been six or seven months since I’ve been at the very top end of a tournament so I’m just looking forward to the opportunity and hopefully I can play well again tomorrow.”
Indonesia's Rory Hie made a big leap forward with a bogey-free round of 3-under 69. With a total of 5-under he now is in the top ten, and goes into the final round 5 shots from the top of the leaderboard.
Scores after the third round of the Australian PGA Championship (Par 72):
206 - Adam SCOTT (AUS) 68-69-69, Scott STRANGE (AUS) 69-66-71, Wade ORMSBY (AUS) 68-67-71
207 - Jason SCRIVENER (AUS) 73-66-68, Boo WEEKLEY (USA) 66-72-69
208 - Michael HENDRY (NZL) 70-71-67
210 - Scott STALLINGS (USA) 72-70-68, David SMAIL (NZL) 68-71-71
211 - Rory HIE (INA) 71-71-69, David BRANSDON (AUS) 73-70-68, Jarrod LYLE (AUS) 69-72-70