In the final year of his PGA Traineeship, Cooper Eccleston takes a five shot lead into the final round of the Altitude Wealth Solutions QLD PGA Trainee Championship at Windaroo Lakes Golf Club after shooting 73 in the third round to be 1-over 217 for the tournament so far.
Eccleston, who is conducting his PGA Traineeship at Victoria Park Golf Complex, is the defending champion, 2018 National Trainee of the Year as well as the QLD Trainee Order of Merit Champion in both 2017 and 2018.
“After handling yesterday’s wild conditions quite well I actually struggled today,” said Eccleston.
“I double-bogeyed the second hole but recovered with two quick birdies.
“If it wasn’t for the eagle I made on the 13th hole my round was pretty average. I sort of limped home after that and was surprised at the lead I had when I finished.
“I was in a similar position last year where I had a two-shot lead going into the final round so I am still feeling pretty confident.
Trailing Eccleston in second position is NSW Trainee Brayden Petersen who finished third in this event in 2018.
Petersen shot an even-par round of 72 with three birdies and three bogeys to be 6-over 222 after three rounds.
“I played solid today. Unfortunately my putter went to sleep throughout most of the round and I just couldn’t make much ground on Cooper,” said Petersen.
“The conditions today were the exact opposite to yesterday and I felt I could have made a really good score out there today but it wasn’t to be. Hopefully tomorrow my putter will wake up and we can at least make a charge at Cooper.”
In third position at 7-over 223 is Royal Melbourne Trainee Ben Pisani who shot an impressive 2-under 70 today and has a one-shot buffer over two other Victorians being Lachlan Kenny and Dale Crothers who both sit at 8-over 224.
It was Crothers, who is based at the Yarrawonga Mulwala Resort, who provided the highlight of the day with a Hole-In-One on the 168m 7th hole.
“I hit a 7 iron and I must admit it looked good the whole way taking 2 bounces and in it went,” said an ecstatic Crothers.
The low round of the day and of the championship to date came from T.J Gooding-King from Mt Coolum Golf Club with a 4-under 68.
“The first two days I put a lot of pressure on myself to perform but today I felt relaxed,” said Gooding-King.
“I managed a birdie on the 2nd hole and an eagle on the 3rd hole and from there I putted really well only having 27 for the round which for me is quite good.”
The field will be hoping to chase down Eccleston with only 18 holes separating the Queenslander from back-to-back victories in the $35,000 QLD PGA Trainee Championships where the leading trio will tee off at 9.50am.
For all the scores and information on the 2019 Altitude Wealth Solutions QLD Trainee Championship please click here.
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