Scott shares tight lead at Australian PGA

The Australian trio of Adam Scott, Wade Ormsby and Scott Strange are tied for the lead at 10-under par heading into today’s final round of the Australian PGA Championship.

Playing in the final group, Scott fired the best score of the trio with a third round 3-under 69. Ormsby, who holed a monster putt on the last for birdie, and Strange each fired 1-under 71 on a difficult day for scoring in breezy conditions.

Adam Scott Adam Scott is all smiles on his way to sharing the third round lead of the Australian PGA Championship (Credit: Anthony Powter)

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“It was good today to make up a couple of shots and at least get in a share for 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. I need to go out and get off to a good start.”

Jason Scrivener and American Boo Weekley are just a stroke adrift of the leaders at 9-under with New Zealander Michael Hendy at 8-under. Hendry fired the round of the day in the third round, a five-under 67.

If Scott fails to defend his title, the Joe Kirkwood Cup will be presented to a first-time winner and for Weekley and compatriot Scott Stallings, an opportunity presents to become just the second American winner of the PGA Championship in the long history of the tournament.

Hale Irwin won at Royal Melbourne way back in 1978 and while Weekley is the best placed of the two to achieve the feat, Stallings’ 68 on Saturday has him just four strokes back of the lead at 6-under.

“I got off to a rough start. The greens were a lot faster today and I didn’t drive it very well on the front.” Stallings said.

“I tried to turn my luck around a bit by trying to drive the green on the 8th but hit a terrible drive, by far my worst of the day. I hit it in the water but ended up chipping in for par and from then on, it was really good.”

The three-time PGA Tour winner also has an asset on the bag this week in Mike Paterson, who has more experience on at least ‘half’ the course than anyone else inside the ropes this week.

Paterson has been Karrie Webb’s looper since 2001 and has been with the Hall of Famer for five of her eight Australian Ladies Masters victories at RACV Royal Pines.

Standing in the way for all the leading contenders will of course be the defending champion, Scott, who put himself into position to capitalise so many times but only walked away with a round of 69.

Despite some frustrations on the greens, the world number 3 was comfortable with where he sits heading into what shapes as both his final round of the year and potentially his last before becoming a father in a few months’ time.

“I’m swinging the club nicely this week and that’s certainly kept me in the event in these tough conditions. Kind of stress free rounds in tough conditions feel good, so hopefully I’ve got plenty of energy for tomorrow.”

“I’ve been in this position a lot. It’s worked out a lot of times and it hasn’t others, so I’ll try and do all the things I can to kind of give myself the advantage when I tee off tomorrow.”