American Bobby Gates shot a 1-under 71 in windy conditions Saturday to maintain a one-stroke lead after the third round of the Australian PGA.
Gates, the New Zealand Open winner in January who earned a 2011 PGA Tour card with a 16th-place finish on the Nationwide Tour money list, had a 12-under 204 total on the Coolum course.
2010 AUSTRALIAN PGA CHAMPIONSHIP
The Australian PGA Championship joins the Australian Open and the Australian Masters in Australian golf's triple crown.
Gates finished with a 10-foot par putt after missing the 18th green with his approach.
“This is a course where it’s difficult to avoid bogeys,” Gates said. “The first five holes were tough. I don’t think there was a stage where we knew what the wind was going to do, and if we did, it changed quickly.”
Australian Aaron Townsend, who led for much of the back nine, bogeyed the final two holes for a 70, leaving him tied for second with Champions Tour player Peter Senior (68).
Townsend, who turned pro in 2003, has only two wins on the Australian secondary tour in his career.
“There is a lot on the line. This could mean a lot to me for the future,” Townsend said. “Tomorrow is a very important day.”
Geoff Ogilvy, the Australian Open winner last week, shot a 71, and defending champion Robert Allenby had a 72. The two Australian stars were six strokes behind Gates.