Korea's Kim Kyung-Tae hits the front at Australian PGA

Updated: 26 November 2011 18:12 IST

Korea's Kim Kyung-Tae shot a second successive five-under-par 67 to take a one shot lead over American Bubba Watson after the third round of the Australian PGA in Coolum on Saturday.

Coolum:

Korea's Kim Kyung-Tae shot a second successive five-under-par 67 to take a one shot lead over American Bubba Watson after the third round of the Australian PGA in Coolum on Saturday.

The 25-year-old Korean was in magnificent touch around the par 72 Hyatt Regency course, making five birdies and no bogey in a blemish-free round, finishing the day on 13-under.

Watson fired a three-under 69 to sit at 12-under, with Australia's Aaron Baddeley a shot further back following a 65.

Four-time winner Robert Allenby took a share of the lead before surrendering five shots in six holes to finish with a 71, five shots from the lead.

If Kim holds on to win the 1.5 million dollar tournament on Sunday he could claim the OneAsia Tour Order of Merit, with current leader Andre Stolz languishing nine shots off the pace.

The Korean was a late entry for the tournament after deciding to stay on in Australia following last week's Presidents Cup.

World number 24, Kim cemented his reputation as a fine putter during the third round but it was his sharp iron play into the greens that impressed most on Saturday.

Countryman Y.E. Yang, who won the 2009 US PGA Championship, said later that Kim would soon become his country's best golfer, surpassing even K.J. Choi, who is currently ranked 15th in the world.

Kim, who has already won in South Korea and Japan this year, was pleased with the compliment but said he was still learning the game.

"I think that is just Y.E's favouritism speaking irrationally," he said. "I think I have a long way to go."

Overnight leader Marcus Fraser battled all afternoon before shooting a two-over 74 to be in a tie for fourth alongside fellow Australian David Bransdon and Yang.

Queenslander Rod Pampling found some touch with the day's best round of six-under 66 to pull within six shots of the lead heading into the final round, alongside Australian Open champ Greg Chalmers, Aaron Townsend and John Senden.

Greg Norman was a shot further back on six-under in a group including Adam Scott, Jason Day and Stuart Applenby.

Northern Irishman Darren Clarke had a day to forget after a seven-over 79 ended his faint hopes of being in contention on the final day.

Topics : Golf
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