Adam Scott in action on day three of the Australian PGA Championship at Royal Pines on the Gold Coast. Picture: Dan Peled/AAP
Adam Scott in action on day three of the Australian PGA Championship at Royal Pines on the Gold Coast. Picture: Dan Peled/AAP

Adam Scott grabs the outright lead at PGA Championship

ADAM Scott produced the moment of the tournament to grab the outright lead at Royal Pines, where he'll attempt to seal a second Australian PGA Championship on Sunday.

The former world No.1 lurked several shots off the lead all day before exploding late with brilliant birdies on the 16th and 18th to finish 10-under for the tournament and three-under for the day, one clear of Wade Ormsby.

Chasing his first title in more than four years, Scott drilled a 5m birdie putt in front of the boisterous "party hole" crowd on the par-three 16thth before his approach landed 1m from the flag on the last.

World No.18 and 2013 tournament winner Scott lapped up the gallery's affection but, frustrated by a run of near misses in a consistent 2019, was determined to finish the job on Sunday.

"I made a good move at it (on the 18th) and it all worked out - you'd hope for that tomorrow to happen but you just never know," he said.

"This golf course can bite you, so it's important you execute your shots well when you're down in the valleys of sin around these greens."

Ormsby shot a two-under 70 to ensure he'll partner his childhood mate, the pair having both fallen in a dramatic 2014 Australian PGA Championship play-off to Greg Chalmers.

But Nick Flanagan, who shot an equal course record 63 to begin the day, Min Woo Lee, New Zealand's Michael Hendry and China's Yuan Yechun are just two shots back at eight-under, and two-time defending champion Cameron Smith is among nine others within five shots of the lead.

"It's incredibly bunched and if it's windy tomorrow it's going to be hard for anyone to really separate themselves unless they play an incredible round of golf," Scott said.

"Unless I hole a lot of long putts I don't see myself running away with this thing; I'm in for a fight tomorrow."

Flanagan's bogey-free round featured nine birdies in a miraculous turnaround, given he needed a birdie on his penultimate hole on Friday to even make the cut.

Late starters struggled to move clear of the Newcastle product, despite Yuan and 21-year-old Perth talent Min Woo Lee (four-under for the day) both threatening to do so.

Smith (five-under) made a habit of rescuing par with some neat up-and-downs in an even round that included two bogeys and an eagle.

Spaniard Alejandro Canizares was another early mover, carding an eight-under 64 in the first group of the day to finish at seven-under and just three shots behind the leaders.

Scott, now 39, has made no secret of his frustration at not adding a title to his cabinet since February 2016 as he looks to build momentum ahead of April's US Masters, which he won in 2013.

"It'd be nice to cap off this year with a win here at home, as I know what the confidence of that can do going into next year, and make things a little more comfortable running into the Masters," he said.