Zunic surges to Australian PGA lead

Gold Coast (Australia) (AFP) –


Little-known Australian Jordan Zunic fired a superb eight-under-par round of 64 to surge to a three-shot lead after the third round of the Australian PGA golf championship on Saturday.

The 25-year-old New South Welshman was in sublime touch around the Royal Pines Resort course on Queensland's Gold Coast and was 11-under the card after 16 holes.

However, he bogeyed the 17th before a double bogey on the difficult 18th saw him finish the day 17 under the card, three shots ahead of fellow Australian Cameron Smith.

Adam Bland, who shared the overnight lead with Marc Leishman, was a shot further back on 13-under.

The in-form Leishman, who many expected to run away with the tournament, had a disappointing two-over 74 to be on 10-under, alongside David Bransdon.

But the day belonged to Zunic after he blitzed the front nine, making seven birdies and taking just 29 shots.

He then had four consecutive birdies from the 13th to the 16th before his blemishes on the final two holes.

"It was a bit of a flash, that round," he said.

"I can't remember it almost because I was just going with the flow.

"The way I played all day, it was just really what I know I'm capable of doing, so to actually go out and do that when it's in tournament mode and on a Saturday afternoon is awesome."

Zunic insisted he wasn't too concerned about the way he finished his round.

"I just think of 16 good holes, that's all I see in my mind and that's all I'm sure we'll talk about tonight because I played unbelievable golf for 16 holes," he said.

"If you had told me that I was going to have 64 at the start of today, I would have taken it, that's for sure."

The 24-year-old Smith will like his chances of catching Zunic in Sunday's round, which will finish at midday local time in a bid to avoid heavy rain which is predicted to descend on the Gold Coast in the afternoon.

Smith won his maiden tournament as a professional at the US PGA's Zurich Classic of New Orleans in May.

He played alongside Zunic on Saturday and said he just tried to concentrate on his own game as he shot a five-under 67.

"It was pretty incredible to watch actually, and in that wind he was just a magician on the greens as well," Smith said.

"I just didn't let Jordan's round get ahead of me there.

"I just kept doing what I was doing. I knew I was playing well, I knew I was putting well. I just needed a couple of chances and I took advantage of them.