(Reuters) - Adam Scott fired a three-under-par 69 to join Wade Ormsby and Scott Strange in a three-way tie for the lead after the third round of the Australian PGA Championship on Saturday.
Scott started the day two shots behind Ormsby and Strange but made up the ground after his two playing partners shot 71.
American Boo Weekley, who led after the first round, kept himself in the hunt with a 69 that featured a chip-in for eagle on the par-five 12th.
Weekley finished the day at a combined nine-under, one behind the leading trio, and tied for fourth with Australia’s Jason Scrivener, who signed for a 68.
New Zealand’s Michael Hendry climbed to outright sixth place, at eight under, after shooting a 67, the best round of the day.
Scott, defending the title he won last year at the Royal Pines Resort on the Gold Coast near where he was raised, had four birdies and one bogey in his round but was unhappy with his putting.
“The winner ends up making putts, so I need to make a few,” he told reporters.
“It was tough today to go super-low with the tricky conditions but hopefully the wind is a down a little and there could be a few birdies up for grabs out there.”
The world number three will go into the final day as a heavy favorite to claim his sixth title on the Australasian PGA Tour.
“Whether it’s here or any other tournament that you win... I’ve got lots of experience to go off over my whole career,” Scott said.
“I’ve been in this position a lot. It’s worked out a lot of time and it hasn’t others so I’ll try and do all the things I can to kind of give myself the advantage.”
The 34-year-old Scott trailed Strange by a stroke with two holes to play but got back on level terms when the leader bogeyed the 17th.
Ormsby slipped two shots behind when he bogeyed the ninth and 11th holes but pulled one back with a birdie on the 12th then drained a long birdie on the last to rejoin the lead.
Ormsby and Scott played together as juniors and remain good friends with the pair staying at the world number three’s Gold Coast home during the tournament.
“He’s been a good host,” Ormsby said. “I’ll just try and play as good a golf as I can and I think hopefully I’ll be somewhere at the end.”
Writing by Julian Linden; Editing by John O'Brien