Sunday, 04 December 2016
Harold Varner III  (Getty Images)
Harold Varner III (Getty Images)

Harold Varner III made four birdies on the front nine to overhaul Andrew Dodt and take a one-shot lead in the final round of the Australian PGA Championship.

Dodt had come into round four with a two-shot advantage and while he turned in 35, a hat-trick of birdies from the seventh catapulted Varner ahead of him at 16 under as he turned in 32.

Varner finished second at RACV Royal Pines Resort last season after losing out in a play-off to Nathan Holman but the American was showing the type of form that could take him one better on Sunday afternoon.

Adam Scott was then at 13 under, a shot ahead of Ashley Hall and two clear of amateur Brett Coletta and John Senden.

Darius van Driel was then at nine under, one ahead of Sam Brazel, Scott Hend, Brett Rumford and Julian Suri.

Scott said after round three he thought there was a low one out there and he got off to the perfect start as he made a 25-foot putt for birdie on the first.

Dodt missed the green on his first two holes but managed to save par both times - almost chipping in on the first - with playing partners Hall and Varner also starting with pars on the first and second.

Scott then missed a golden opportunity to get a shot closer at the third but Varner managed it, putting a stunning approach to two feet to cut the lead to one shot.

Varner found sand off the tee on the next but saved par while Senden put his tee-shot on the par three fifth to four feet to join Scott at 11 under.

Dodt leaked his tee-shot right on the same hole, leaving himself a 50-footer, but he very nearly made a remarkable birdie as Hall and Varner also parred.

It was all change on the seventh as Varner put his approach to 15 feet and while Dodt managed to get inside him, it was Varner who made the birdie putt to join Dodt at the top of the leaderboard.

Trouble off the tee saw Hall drop to 11 under where he was joined by Coletta, who was making a brilliant surge through the field with birdies on the third, fifth, sixth, eighth, ninth and tenth.

Scott drove the short par four eighth for a second birdie of the day and while all the members of the leading group laid up, Varner put his approach inside a foot and we had a new leader.

Scott also got on the par five ninth in two and while he could not make an eagle, the birdie took him to five under on that hole for the week and 13 under for the tournament.

Varner got in trouble off the tee on the ninth but needed just one putt for a third birdie in a row, and his lead stayed at one as Dodt got on in two and birdied the hole for the fourth time after missing an eight-foot eagle putt.

Hall also made his birdie to get back to 12 under.

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1VARNER III, HaroldUSA18-19
2DODT, AndrewAUS18-17
3SCOTT, AdamAUS18-15
4HALL, AshleyAUS18-14
5RUMFORD, BrettAUS18-10
T6VAN DRIEL, DariusNED18-8

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