Smith leads into Aust PGA final round

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A lead of three will do, but six or seven would have been nice.

That is the luxury Cameron Smith's talent has afforded after the hometown favourite's hot run in Saturday's third round petered out at the Australian PGA Championship.

Smith was four-under through seven holes and led by as many as four strokes, the Open Championship winner and world No.3 seemingly with Royal Queensland at his mercy.

But then the wind picked up and the two-time tournament winner's lead evaporated, three bogeys either side of the turn and another on the 18th good enough for a two-under 69.

But he is still 11 under ahead of Sunday's final round, and the only player to card three successive rounds under 70.

"It was a bit frustrating on that back nine, but in these conditions I would have taken two under," Smith said after thousands of fans lined the fairways to watch the Brisbane native.

"I was really hot on that front nine, felt really good. It's just frustrating to end like that.

"I'd like to be six or seven ahead to be honest ... but I can't complain."

He will play in the final group with Japan's Masahiro Kawamura and China's Yan Wei Liu, who shot rounds of 71 and 70 respectively to finish eight-under.

Min Woo Lee, Jake McLeod, Brad Kennedy and Jason Scrivener, who birdied his last two holes to save his round, are seven under.

The two-time tournament winner started one stroke behind overnight leader Scrivener.

But Smith was two ahead an hour later thanks to a two-shot swing on the fourth hole.

Smith had birdied the second and then struggled to believe he had not aced the fourth when the ball dropped and ran right by the flag.

He tapped in for birdie while Scrivener was unable to get up and down after finding the bunker.

Smith birdied the sixth and seventh to build a four-shot lead, but was back level with Kawamura at 10-under by the 12th hole.

Starting earlier, Lee watched his putt stop on the lip of the ninth hole, denying him a fifth birdie that would have got him within two shots of the lead.

The popular West Australian's steady back nine as the wind gusted kept him in the fight, though.

"If the wind blows like that, it doesn't matter how good you are, it's going to be tough and putting is another thing," Lee said.

"It's absolutely crazy (on the greens). A bit of luck involved. Skill obviously, but luck's needed."


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