Qualifying School graduate Simon Hawkes has claimed the third round lead at the Oates Vic Open with a hot round at 13th Beach Golf Links.
Starting the day seven shots off the lead, Hawkes fired a course record equalling round of 8-under 64, his card clean of bogeys.
After blitzing the course, Hawkes was safely in the clubhouse at 10-under the card with a one shot lead before the overnight leaders even teed off.
“I kind of felt waking up that I got a bit lucky with the draw, and being a few back I kind of had to go and make a move this morning,” said Hawkes.
“It just happened today and it was good.”
In his first full year on the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia, a win tomorrow would be a huge boost to the 29-year-old’s career.
“I have no idea what to expect tomorrow or anything like that. I’m going to go out and play golf tomorrow. However the cards fall is however the cards fall," added Hawkes.
To be victorious on Sunday, Hawkes will need to overcome a cluttered leaderboard which includes veteran Steven Jeffress, a proven winner, who is just one shot behind at 9-under the card.
“Experience definitely helps but there's a little thing called golf that gets in the road,” said Jeffress who won the 2014 Fiji International.
“I'm playing really nice but that doesn't mean I'm going to turn up tomorrow and everything's going to be nice again.
“If I can commit to my shots and let go, the game is there but you never know what's going to happen. So experience is very important but it’s not everything.”
It was a mixed day on the course for Jeffress whose card featured two eagles, five birdies and three bogeys as he fired 6-under 66.
“I played, not poorly, you don't have to do much wrong to go backwards. I was a little bit disappointed because I made a bogey at the 8th hole from a good position and another bogey at the 4th hole from a good position so it was nice just to get a birdie, sneak one in at the end,” added Jeffress.
“It was a tough day out there. The wind was howling and the greens were getting firm. I’m very happy with where I'm sitting with one round to go.”
At 8-under the card, Queenslander Cory Crawford and New South Welshman Harrison Endycott are tied 3rd after shooting rounds of 69 and 70 respectively today.
A shot further back and rounding out the top-5 are New Zealander Kieran Muir, Victorian Ashley Hall New South Welshman Nick Flanagan and Queenslander Anthony Quayle who was leading after 54 holes but slipped backwards with a 2-over 74 today.
A 54 hole cut was applied this afternoon with the top-35 players and ties making the final round. Those players at 2-under the card or better will play on Sunday.
The final round of the Oates Vic Open will tee off at 7.25am with the leaders on course at 11.30am.
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