Lee leads the Australian PGA Championship by 3 shots from Hoshino of Japan


BRISBANE, Australia (AP) — Min Woo Lee extended his lead to three shots at the Australian PGA Championship after a 5-under 66 in overcast conditions Saturday to move to 17 under after three rounds.

“It’s a course you can shoot low, so you’ll be aggressive no matter what,” Lee said. “I’m here because I played aggressively.”

Rikuya Hoshino of Japan surged into second at 14 under after making six birdies on the back nine for a 64 on Saturday, moving one shot ahead of Curtis Luck (66) and three ahead of Adam Scott, who slipped to fourth place with a third-round 71.

Marc Leishman (67) and Cam Davis (68) were in a group of four in seventh place at 9 under.

No. 45-ranked Lee and Luck grew up in Western Australia and were regular rivals, but it’s been about a decade since they’ve both been in the leading group on the last day.

The 27-year-old Luck, who won the U.S. Amateur and the Asia-Pacific Amateur in 2016 but has struggled for consistent results since turning pro, is looking forward to renewing a rivalry with the up-and-coming Lee.

“I’ve just been dealing with the ebbs and flows of golf. Had a couple of rough years and seems to be coming back up again,” he said. “I’ve definitely played events where everything’s looked great, so I’m just going to obviously back myself off that experience and just try and get out there tomorrow and hopefully get it done.”

Hoshino, ranked No. 138, has won five titles on the Japanese tour since 2018 but is making his first trip to Australia and got his first taste of the so-called party hole at Royal Queensland Golf Club, the par-3 17th.

“It was the most exciting moment of my life,” he said. “The atmosphere at 17 is great.”

His 7-under 64 was the equal best round Saturday along with Connor Syme of Scotland, who moved to fifth place at 10 under, and New Zealand’s Michael Hendry, who is back on tour after treatment for blood cancer.

The tournament, a season-opener for the European tour, is being played at Royal Queensland Golf Club, the proposed golf venue for the 2032 Olympics in Brisbane. Local favorite and defending champion Cam Smith, the 2022 British Open winner, missed the cut.


AP golf: https://apnews.com/hub/golf

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