Gates maintains advantage

Bobby Gates will take a one-shot lead into the final round of the Australian PGA Championship.

Bobby Gates will take a one-shot lead into the final round of the Australian PGA Championship at Hyatt Regency Coolum in Queensland.

If he wins, the American will become the first non-Australian to take the event in over ten years, and a one-under-par 71 was good enough to see him maintain the lead he first grabbed after the second round. Gates made two birdies and a solitary bogey for a three-day total of 12 under 204.

“It felt pretty good, the wind today made it tougher than the first two days but I kind of ground it out again today,” he said.

“I never really got anything going but it’s kind of the nature of the beast with this sport, you can hit some bad shots and save on par sometimes so it’s pretty good. I did that today and I’m still in the tournament and still have a good chance tomorrow.”

Australians Peter Senior and Aaron Townsend are Gates’ closest challengers after shooting a 68 and 70 respectively.

Senior in particular had a good day, opening with a bogey, but collecting five birdies after that in an otherise blemish-free round. A two-time winner of the event already, he’ll be aiming for a third on Sunday.

“I think I have done pretty well, I still love the game and I still enjoy getting out there and competing,” said the 51-year-old veteran, who would become the oldest winner of the event should he emerge the victor.

“This is a course that can suit anybody, anyone can go out there and shoot a good score. So hopefully I will get on a roll and do some damage tomorrow.”

Fellow Australians Peter Fowler (70), Andre Stolz (70) and Japan’s Akio Sadakata (67) are tied for fourth place.