Vic PGA: McKenzie four shots clear with third round -7

By David Brehaut

DAVID McKenzie shot a third round seven-under par to jump four shots clear in the Turner Plumbing Victorian PGA Championship at Creswick today.

And it could have been better.

He bogeyed the par four 18th hole after finding the rough off the tee, coming up short of green with his second, and having two chips roll off the front of the green.

McKenzie managed to limit the damage when he holed a putt from the fringe - giving him a 65 to take him to 11-under

Fellow Victorians Matt Griffin and Scott Layock are tied for second.

Griffin also had a big round - climbing up the leaderboard with the second best round of the day, 66.

Laycock kept himself in contention with a one-under 71, although he did rue a wayward putter.

Despite his commanding display, a subdued McKenzie was not getting away about his prospects of takiong out the opening event on the Australasian PGA Tour for the year.

McKenzie said a better start had been the key to the round.

In contrast to his second round on Friday which began with two bogeys, he birdied three of the first five holes.

He got to eight-under on the 16th, with the bogey on the last his only blemish of the day.

McKenzie said once he had momentum, he knew if her kept it going that 10, 11 or 12-under would close to having him in front going into Sunday.

He admitted to having his share of luck though - bouncing off a tree on the ninbth and hitting through trees on the 14th.

McKenzie said he was starting this year in a much better frame of mind than 2012.

He said the death of a close friend ahead of last year's Victorian PGA Championship had put hime right of the game.

McKenzie said while he played at Creswick, he was not prepared.

"I didn't want to play.

"I didn't practice. I didn't have a practice round. I didn't see the course until the Thursday."

He said he did not get into right frame of mind until mid-year.

McKenzie said this year he wanted to play.

"I'm looking to play well," he said.

WHAT THEY SAID:

DAVID McKENZIE

-11 leader

Third round -7 

"Got on the front foot early (in the round). Knew if I kept it going that 10, 11 or 12-under was going to be close. Got lucky on a few holes. It's a good result."

MATT GRIFFIN 

-7 tied for second

third round -6

"Made some putts. Converted chances except when four poutted 11th (for double bogey). Games feels good and in good form." 

SCOTT LAYCOCK

-7 tied for second

third round -1

"I've been playing well, but didn't putt well today. Four shots is nothing. Enjoying playing here. Haven't been in contention for a while. I want to win a four-round stroke event."

JOSH YOUNGER

-4 tied for sixth 

Third round -1

"I was wasteful - four bogeys and 1 double bogey (to go with two eagles and three birides). I"m getting birdies so it's not too far away."

PAUL GOW 

-2 tied for 12th

Third round par 

"A frustrating round. Feel okay. It's good fun."

ROUND THREE SCORES

1 David McKenzie -11 

T2 Matthew Griffin -7 

T2 Scott Laycock -7 

T4 Stephen Dartnall -5 

T4 Andre Stolz -5 

T6 Anthony Summers -4 

T6 Josh Younger -4 

T8 Ashley Hall -3 

T8 Michael Long -3 

T8 Michael Foster -3 

T8 Michael Choi -3 

T12 Andrew Tschudin -2 

T12 Lindsay Wilson -2 

T12 Nathan Holman -2 

T12 Paul Gow -2 

T12 John Wade -2 

T12 Rohan Blizard -2 

T18 Daniel Nisbet -1 

T18 Aaron Townsend -1 

T18 Anthony Brown -1 

T18 Matthew Millar -1 

T22 Michael Wright even 

T22 Tom Bond even 

T24 Gareth Paddison 1 

T24 Jason Norris 1 

T24 Brendan Smith 1 

T27 Bradley Lamb 2 

T27 Peter O'Malley 2 

T27 Leigh McKechnie 2 

T27 Pieter Zwart 2 

T31 Marcus Cain 3 

T31 Neil Sarkies 3 

T31 Chris Gaunt 3 

T31 Peter Wilson 3 

T35 Paul Sheehan 4 

T35 Steven Jones 4 

T35 David Klein 4 

T38 Matt Giles 5 

T38 Kristopher Mueck 5 

T40 Rika Batibasaga 6 

T40 Edward Stedman 6 

T40 Benjamin Bloomfield 6 

43 David Bransdon 7 

T44 Peter Nolan 8 

T44 Jason Scrivener 8 

T44 Terry Pilkadaris 8 

T47 Kurt Carlson 9 

T47 Ryan Fox 9 

T47 Brent McCullough 9 

T50 Leighton Lyle 10 

T50 Jordan Sherratt 10 

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