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Scott falls as Dodt keeps Aussie PGA lead

AAP logoAAP 3/12/2016 Scott Bailey

For a brief moment on Saturday afternoon, Adam Scott threatened to take control of the Australian PGA Championship from leader Andrew Dodt.

Then it all quickly fell apart.

Two hours later Dodt had returned to the clubhouse at 14-under par after three rounds, with a two-shot lead over Ashley Hall and Harold Varner III, who are tied for second.

The world No.7 was a further two shots back in a tie for fourth with one round to play.

"I'm going to have to shoot a low score," Scott said.

After sinking a 10-metre putt to eagle the ninth, Scott went outright second and was just one shot off Dodt's lead.

"I just wanted a solid back nine and take advantage of the par-5s," Scott said.

"I thought if I shot a couple under on the back-nine it would be a good day's work."

But that's when it all went pear-shaped.

Dodt birdied the ninth to extend his lead and Hall eagled to retake second.

In response Scott found water on the 10th, trees on the 11th, the bunker on the 12th and then water again on the 13th as the wind picked up and storms began to roll in.

Somehow he escaped with just two bogeys from the horror run, but it was enough to blunt his charge before a late birdie helped him finish two under for the day.

"Bad swings," he said.

"I didn't really hit it that great on the back nine. And wasted a couple of shots unfortunately."

Yet you can never rule out his chances of claiming his second Joe Kirkwood Cup.

"I have to go out and have a good front nine and get up near the lead," he said.

"Then there is a lot of pressure on the other guys to try and get their first wins of a big event."

One of those is Dodt - who has just two European Tour wins to his name.

He emerged from an up-and-down third round - which included three bogeys and five birdies - with the same two-shot lead he entered with.

"I feel really comfortable with the wind and the greens - drove really well," Dodt said.

"I hit some good shots on the back nine, held some nice putts when I needed to."

Playing partner Hall faced similar tests. He was faultless on the front nine, but bogeyed his last two holes to also be two under for the round.

Meanwhile, Varner appeared to be playing on a different course. Last year's runner-up hit eagles on the 15th and 17th, but bogeyed the 18th for a five-under round.

Veteran John Senden has also moved to a tie of fourth with Scott, perhaps the last of those still in contention after a consistent error-free round of four under.

The same can't be said about New Zealander Ryan Fox's third round.

After starting tied for third with Scott, he finished one over for the day after bogeying three of his first five holes to be sixth, seven shots off the lead.

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