COOLUM, Australia — Three-time champion Robert Allenby stormed home with birdies on the last two holes to seize a one-shot lead after the third round of the Australian PGA golf championship Saturday.
Allenby was in a large group trailing Greg Chalmers for most of the day but the 38-year-old took his chances on the closing two holes of the Hyatt Regency course to finish on a five-under-par 66 and to nine under for the tournament.
He was one shot ahead of Chalmers, who fired a four-under 67, and Scott Strange, who carded a 68.
Defending champion Geoff Ogilvy and last week's Australian Open winner Adam Scott were well within striking distance just two shots behind the leader.
However, Allenby will take some catching on the last day around the picturesque course on Queensland's Sunshine Coast.
He is currently in a rich vein of form and last week became the first Australian to win the Nedbank Challenge in South Africa.
Although he hasn't won consecutive tournaments since 2005, Allenby said he was playing well enough to add a fourth PGA title to his collection.
"I played solid all day today," he said, adding there was still room for improvement.
"Every day (this week) could have been a little bit better, even today," he said.
"Last week was a good win for me. It was a good field -- not a big field but a good one.
"I'm hitting the ball nicely and my short game is getting a lot better.
"That's what helped me."
Allenby conceded there was still plenty of work to do if he was to hold off the rest of the field, which includes all of Australia's best golfers.
"There's a lot of golf still to be played -- there's 18 holes of golf left and a lot of great players behind me," he said.
"I have a one shot lead, but that one shot could be all over after one hole.
"I just have to go out and shoot as low as I can and hopefully it's good enough to win."
Copyright © 2009 AFP.