Pilkadaris, Wright challenge WA PGA

Tour journeyman, Terry Pilkadaris, moves into the final round of the Western Australian PGA Championship with a narrow two stroke  lead over Michael Wright at the Novotel Vines Resort and Country Club. 

Pilkadaris, winless on tour for six years, is at 12-under-par with rounds of 68-69-67.

Terry Pilkadaris Terry Pilkadaris (Credit: Anthony Powter)

Wright, a dual winner in 2005 at the Toyota Southern Classic and the NSW Open fired rounds of 70-70–66 to be at 10-under-par and a stroke ahead of Do-Eu An from South Korea.

Pilkadaris was born in Perth and turned professional in 1998, joining the PGA Tour of Australasia. Since 2002 he has played on the Asian Tour where he has won three tournaments with the 2004 Crowne Plaza Open, 2004 Sanya Open and the 2005 Brunei Open. 

The Perth native is eager to claim another title which will give the world number 714 a needed boost heading into the Australian summer of golf.

“I want the win, I want the winner’s cheque, that’s what we’re all playing for,” said Pilkadaris.

“I didn’t capitalise on my putting opportunities today. I’d like to take advantage with the putter a bit more and hopefully that will get the job done.”

Amateur Ryan Peake continues to have a strong tournament with rounds of 72–66-70 to be in a tie with Andrew Martin in fourth position at 8-under-par.

Peake was a member of the winning Australian Four Nations team that defeated New Zealand a fortnight ago in Queenstown which added to Peake’s international results this year that include a runner-up finish at the Saujana Amateur Open in Malaysia and a top-10 finish at the Malaysian Open Amateur.

Positioned four strokes behind Pilkadaris, Peake is familiar with the Vines layout having won the 2010 Handa Junior Masters there. A win in this event for Peake would cement his position as one of our most promising emerging amateurs.

Another amateur making his mark is New Zealand’s Ben Campbell, who fired the low third round with a seven under-par 65 to jump into a tie for eleventh at 6-under along with Matthew Griffin. With a schedule that includes a number of professional starts, the world number 12 amateur is a player to monitor this summer in Australia.

There’s much at stake for the winner of the Western Australian PGA Championship. With a purse of $110,000 the winner will also gain exemptions into the Australian Open, Australian PGA Championship, NZ Open and the JBWere Masters.

At present the seasoned tour journeymen in Pilkadaris and Wright are fighting for the title, both in need of a victory to break a winless drought. 

Chasing them down are the emerging amateurs Peake and Campbell who are capable of scoring low and eager to get those exemptions into the main Australasian Tour events.

It sets the stage for an exciting finish to the first PGA Tour of Australasia event on home soil in what is sure to be a stellar summer of golf.