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Australian Chances High For Yet Another Major Title

Adam Scott during round three today
Australia’s two most recent major championship winners, Jason Day and Adam Scott, have opened to door for another, their third rounds of 67 and 65 respectively at the PGA Championship at the Bellerive Country Club in St Louis having them both with chances of winning their second individual major titles.

Scott is now in second place outright at 10 under and just two off Brooks Koepka’s lead while Day is two behind Scott and four from the lead.

Scott began round three five shots behind the 36-hole leader Gary Woodland but with an outward nine of 31 he was within two of the then leader Koepka who was on his way to an outward nine of 30 himself and who had overtaken the 36 hole leaders.

Scott was unable to build any further momentum over the next few holes and a missed putt from under three feet at the 15th appeared to have been a crucial blow.

He would though hit his own 'shot of the day' and one of the shots of the day overall when a 5 iron from 230 yards to the par 3 16th finished two feet from the hole and when converted he had moved back to 9 under and within three after Koepka bogeyed the 15th.

Scott actually got within one when Koepka briefly lost his way with consecutive bogeys in the middle of the back nine but a good par save by the leader at the 16th and a two putt birdie by him at the 17th extended the lead to two.

Scott was playing ahead of Koepka and secured the almost obligatory birdie at the 17th to move back within one but the long hitting leader would also birdie the 17th to move two clear.

Scott had another chance to creep closer when he hit his approach at the last to five feet but the sliding left to righter missed and his par had him two behind the leader.

“It’s the first time in a while being really in contention," said Scott. "I did not realise until kind of on 17 that brook had dropped a couple of shots so I was a little hot at myself on the 15th for making that bogey there and then to come back birdie, birdie and then to have another look at the last was really good.

“It was nice to have the juices flowing again an on 17 I was feeling like I am in the tournament as it has been a while since I felt like that so it was nice to make a couple of birdies while the adrenalin was up.”

"I felt I was right there at the Open Championship, starting Sunday at 4-under, and unfortunately there I think I took the wrong mindset into the Sunday round and expected myself to shoot too low in pretty tough conditions and shot myself in the foot on the front nine a little bit.

"But it was good to be back feeling like I had a chance to win a major at the Open Championship just a month ago and tomorrow definitely it looks like I'll be a few back. But it's a packed leaderboard and there are going to be about 10 of us looking for that round of the year for everyone tomorrow. Someone will go out and do it and I'm glad I'm in that position that it could be me."

Scott has taken on Gold Coast based New Zealander Mike Waite as his caddie after working with Dave Clark for much of this year and then Fanny Sunesson at the Open Championship. He began working with Waite last week in Ohio and it appears the two are already working well together.

Waite is a very experienced caddie with success at the 2005 US Open with Michael Campbell and many other players.   

Day began the round well with birdies at two of his opening three holes but there was not a lot to get excited about from that point on finishing with a round of 67 to be at 8 under and 4 from the lead but still well within striking distance.

Day had been required to finish off round two earlier in the day and did so by picking up two more shots in his closing ten holes to be at 5 under and tied with Scott heading into round three.

“It was just one of those days’ when I got it round in 3 under – nothing really exciting going on,” said Day. (see interview below).

Marc Leishman is in 71st place after his round of 73 while Cameron Smith is 77th after being unable to follow up on his great second round of 66.

New Zealander Ryan Fox continued his path towards the elite of the game with a around of 68 to be in a share of 28th place, the 30 year old on track for his best major championship finish in his 4th start at this level.  

Earlier in the day, the delayed second had been completed with Craig Hocknull the only one of the five Australians in the event to miss the cut although the teaching professional based in Arizona was certainly not disgraced after rounds of 72 and 73 in his first major championship appearance.

 

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