Saturday, 02 December 2017
Jordan Zunic  (Getty Images)
Jordan Zunic (Getty Images)

Jordan Zunic turned in 29 to surge into a four-shot lead on day three of the Australian PGA Championship at RACV Royal Pines Resort.

The Australian began the day three shots off the lead but seven birdies in his first nine holes catapulted him to 16 under and put him in a commanding position on the Gold Coast.

Defending champion Harold Varner III played his first ten holes in five under to share second place with overnight leaders Adam Bland and Marc Leishman.

Australian duo Bland and Leishman both played the front nine in level par to sit a shot ahead of countryman Cameron Smith and two clear of two more Australians in David Bransdon and Greg Chalmers.

Zunic finished in the top ten here in the 2016 season but looked determined to better that in Queensland with a scintillating first ten holes.

American Varner finished his round on Friday with four birdies and he carried that momentum brilliantly into round three, making further gains on the first and second to move just three shots off the lead.

Zunic was another man to make a birdie-birdie start, holing a long putt on the first and almost recording a hole-in-one at the second.

The 25 year old had taken advantage of the par five third in round two and he did the same again on Saturday to make it three birdies in a row and join the lead.

Bland got up and down in style from a fairway bunker on the fourth to jump out of the leading pack but Zunic was relentless.

He birdied the sixth and seventh to hit the front on his own and when he played an approach to three feet on the eighth, he had a two-shot lead.

Bland dropped a shot on the same hole and a seventh birdie of the day from Zunic saw him turn in 29 and he led by four.

Varner made back-to-back birdies on the seventh and eighth and when he added another on the tenth, he was in a share of second, with Zunic parring the first hole after the turn.

Leishman made nine straight pars to turn in 36.

Smith was playing alongside Zunic and he bogeyed the first but then made a hat-trick of gains from the fourth before bogeying the seventh and birdieing the ninth.

Chalmers - a two-time winner of this event - was level par for his first nine holes, while Bransdon was six under after 14.

Sergio Garcia made two birdies in his first 11 holes to sit at eight under alongside Australian Lucas Herbert.

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1SMITH, CameronAUS18-18
2ZUNIC, JordanAUS18-18
3BLAND, AdamAUS18-17
6VARNER III, HaroldUSA18-12

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