A front-nine surge has helped Sydneysider Darren Beck to a one-shot lead in the penultimate round of the TX Civil & Logistics WA PGA Championship.
Back-to-back birdies saw Beck cut down Jarryd Felton’s three-stoke overnight lead to finish with a round of 4-under 68 – equal best of the day.
“It was good today. It was a bit better ball-striking wise, and I holed some nice putts early,” Beck said.
“I gave myself a lot of chances with birdie putts and managed to sneak a couple in on 14 and 15, so I had two good birdies there.
“I haven’t been in this position for a while, especially in a tier-two event. It’s great to be in this position, and I feel good so I’ll just see what I can do tomorrow.”
Felton relinquished a handy lead following an even-par round of 72. He was one-over through nine holes, but consecutive birdies early in the back nine looked like he had arrested the slump.
But the Perth local faltered with a bogey on 14 to drop back to 12-under.
“Today was a grind. It was really hard out here, but you can’t be upset with even-par. I’m still in the tournament and am looking forward to tomorrow,” Felton said.
“I’m only one back, and as Darren showed, it can all change very quickly. I’m enjoying it out there, so we’ll just see what happens.”
Six birdies for Stephen Dartnall helped move the West Australian to third, following a standout 4-under 68 for a 10-under total.
Dartnall, the 2016 WA PGA champion, says a self-imposed break from the course had benefited his performance.
“I haven’t played a lot of golf, let alone social golf. Not relying on golf as an income has let me play with little pressure,” Dartnall said.
“It’s a cliche, but I’m playing it one shot at a time.”
Robert Hogan sits in outright fourth place following a steady round of 2-under 70 for a three-round total of 9-under the card, one shot ahead of fellow New South Welshman Jordan Zunic at 8-under.
Experienced campaigner Michael Sim and rookie Justin Warren remain in contention at 7-under the card in sixth place.
The fourth and final round of the TX Civil & Logistics WA PGA Championship begins at 7:25am AWST at Kalgoorlie Golf Course.
The final round of the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia tournament will be live-streamed on PGA TV from 10am AWST on Sunday 13 October.