MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Home hero Adam Scott shot a patient three-under 69 to take a one-shot lead at the Australian PGA Championship after the third round on Saturday and raise his hopes of a second title at the A$1.5 million ($1.03 million) event on the Gold Coast.
The former world number one overcame a slow start and a bogey on the fifth hole to roll in four birdies from the ninth and reach a 10-under total of 206, one ahead of compatriot Wade Ormsby at the Royal Pines Resort.
Australian Nick Flanagan soared into contention with a course record 63 to stand a stroke adrift of Ormsby, in a group of four tied for third.
Flanagan had flirted with the cut-line after opening rounds of 72 and 73 but got off to a flying start on Saturday with four of his nine birdies coming in his first four holes.
“Yeah, it was kind of out of the blue,” the 35-year-old told reporters.
“Puts me in a good spot for tomorrow and hopefully go out there and just kind of play similar golf.”
Double defending champion Cameron Smith’s hopes of completing a hat-trick of titles at the European Tour co-sanctioned event dimmed with a scratchy even-par 72.
Smith will start Sunday five strokes adrift of Scott.
(Reporting by Ian Ransom; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)