Andrew Dodt saw his lead cut to one shot midway through the third round of the Australian PGA Championship as World Number Seven Adam Scott made a charge through the field at RACV Royal Pines Resort.
Dodt entered day three with a two-shot lead and quickly extended that to three before Scott and a third Australian in Ashley Hall set about trying to rein him in.
The 30 year old turned in 34 to get to 14 under but playing partner Hall was just a shot behind with Scott then at 12 under having also played nine holes.
John Senden was then at nine under with American Harold Varner III a further shot back.
Dodt got off to the perfect start with an opening birdie and with playing partner Ryan Fox dropping a shot on the first, there were just two players within five shots of the lead.
Another bogey from the New Zealander then dropped him to six under but Scott was moving in the opposite direction as he picked up a birdie on the same hole.
Senden then made a birdie on the fourth and coming up in the group behind, Hall made his first gain of the day to cut the lead back to two.
Dodt made just his third bogey of the week on the seventh and all of a sudden the lead was cut to one shot.
Scott then made his second birdie of the day on the eighth to get within two, with playing partner Senden also registering a gain to get to eight under.
Senden made another birdie on the ninth but it was Scott who made the big move, registering an eagle on the par five to jump to 12 under and within one of the lead after Dodt had birdied the eighth.
Hall then repeated the trick to briefly get level with Dodt but the leader followed him in for a birdie.
Varner had a single birdie on the ninth to sit at eight under, a shot clear of Matthew Griffin and Fox.
Scott Hend birdied the third and then fired off four in a row from the eighth before an eagle on the par five 15th catapulted him into the group at seven under.
A bogey was to follow on the 17th and Hend signed for a 66 to set the clubhouse target alongside Steve Webster.
The Englishman also went on a birdie run, following up a gain on the third with five in a row from the fifth. He dropped a shot on the 12th but made further birdies on the 13th and 17th in a 65 that equalled the low round of the week.
"It took me 26 holes to have a birdie and then I birdied the last two yesterday to definitely make the cut and get my focus and I took that focus into today," he said.
"I had nothing to lose, I was nearly last. It told me I could do it when I needed to do it.
"I played just as well yesterday but just didn't make the putts. Today, I saw the lines better."
Greg Chalmers and Julian Suri were also at six under.
|1||VARNER III, Harold||USA||18||-19|
|T6||VAN DRIEL, Darius||NED||18||-8|