Golf-Strong finish sees Lee open up three-shot lead at Australian PGA

  • Golf
  • Saturday, 25 Nov 2023

(Reuters) - Min Woo Lee will take a three-shot lead over Japan's Rikuya Hosino into the final round of the Australian PGA Championship after increasing his advantage at Royal Queensland with a second consecutive five-under-par round of 66 on Saturday.

A strong showing over the closing holes allowed the 25-year-old to open up a gap on the chasing pack as he looks to secure his third win on the European Tour.

"It's a course you can shoot low, so you'll be aggressive no matter what," Lee said.

"I'm here because I played aggressively ... I can just control what I can do and if someone goes out and shoots low, hopefully I finish the day happy with how I've played."

Lee, who led Adam Scott by a shot going into the third round, opened his day with two birdies in the first three holes to stretch his advantage over the former Masters champion.

But bogeys at both of the front nine's par-threes saw his lead over Scott reduced back to a solitary stroke when he stepped off the 10th green.

However, Lee restored his advantage from earlier in the round as Scott paid for his inconsistency.

Lee's birdie at the 12th was followed by another at the par-five 14th, when an eagle putt slid millimetres wide of the hole before the Australian picked up another shot at the next.

Scott, by contrast, endured a difficult finish, bogeying the 14th and 16th holes and then lipping out a putt for birdie on the 18th to finish with a round of 71 to sit in fourth, six shots behind Lee ahead of Sunday's play.

Hoshino hauled himself into second with a blistering back nine, picking up six birdies to complete the second half of his round in 29 strokes to move to 14-under for the tournament.

Curtis Luck also hit a five-under-par round of 66 to move into third place with Connor Syme and Lucas Herbert a further shot adrift in a share for fifth.

(Reporting by Michael Church; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

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