He’s fast becoming the king of the iron throne.
Andrew Martin credits his iron play for his third successive 5-under 66 in the penultimate round at the Tailor-made Building Services NT PGA Championship to secure a three-stroke lead.
Martin stands at 15-under par following a tight third round that saw multiple lead changes, with Peter Wilson, amateur Lawry Flynn and Kade McBride also taking charge at Palmerston Golf Course.
Martin defended his overnight advantage by playing the front nine conservatively before striking with his deadly irons mid-way through the round.
“I think I got a bit hot the last few holes. I made a couple of sloppy errors, but I was comfortable with how I was handling my irons,” Martin said.
“I was still struggling off the tee, but managed to not get into any trouble. That’s something that can improve. I’m fortunate that my iron play is really good which has saved me.
“The front nine for me probably doesn’t visually suit my eye as well as the back (nine). I actually thought I played alright at the front, but I was playing cautiously.
“I think it’s a course that you’ve just got to be patient on. You’re capable of getting a birdie on most holes, so you’ve just got to be patient.
Palmerston member Aaron Pike managed to recover from an “ordinary” day, completing his round with two consecutive birdies.
He finished with a 1-under par 70, to be T8 with a three-round total of 10-under par.
“It was pretty ordinary, to be honest. Everything that could go wrong, did go wrong,” a dejected Pike said.
“I just felt a little bit off. I was just grinding, grinding, grinding all day. Just nothing was going right, then the last couple of holes every shot was quality coming in, so that was really good to finish like that.
“It gives me a bit of confidence that if things aren’t going well you’ve just got to persevere.”
Rising star Jacob Boyce dazzled in the heat, registering the best round of the tournament with 8-under 63.
The 23-year-old came into the third round even-par and carved up the field with six birdies from his first nine holes. He’s ascended to T13 at 8-under par.
“I was really happy with my round. I’ve come out of nowhere and climbed the leaderboard, which will put me in good stead for tomorrow,” Boyce said.
The final round of the NTPGA at Palmerston Golf Club tees off at 9:30am local time tomorrow, with leaders Martin, Taylor Macdonald and Peter Wilson starting their round at 11am.
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