GOLD COAST, Australia – American Harold Varner III shot a 6-under 66 Saturday to move into a three-way share of the lead after three rounds of the Australian PGA championship.
Varner, who bounced his approach shot off the 18th-hole grandstand but scrambled to make par for the best round of the day, had a 54-hole total of 3-under 213.
He’s tied with two South Africans – Dylan Frittelli and Zander Lombard – who each shot 71.
They and fourth-place Australian Nathan Holman, who shot 70 and is two strokes behind, are the only players under par on the wind-swept Royal Pines course.
Second-round leader David Lingmerth shot 75 and was tied for fifth, three strokes behind. American Peter Uihlein, a stroke from the lead after two rounds, fell out of contention with a 79 and is tied for 25th, eight strokes behind.
Lombard held a late lead by one stroke but missed a six-foot par putt on the 18th. Lingmerth had double bogeys on the par-4 10th and 14th holes.
Varner shot a bogey-free round and birdied 14, 15 and 16 despite the gusty conditions in the joint Australian and European Tour event.
“The wind’s a pain right now,” said Varner, who joins Tiger Woods as the only player of black heritage on the PGA Tour this year.
“I haven’t played in that much wind in a long time. When bad things happen, you’ve just got to shake it off and go onto the next one. Today I did that really well.”