Showdown looming at NSW/ACT Associate Championship - PGA of Australia

Showdown looming at NSW/ACT Associate Championship

Dale Crothers and Jak Carter look set for another final round showdown as Crothers edged one stroke clear on day three of the NSW/ACT PGA State Associate Championship at Moruya Golf Club.

Crothers got the better of Carter at the VIC/TAS Championship at Tocumwal earlier in the year but Carter came into this championship on the back of a 15-stroke win at the SA PGA State Associate Championship just last week.

It sets up a thrilling final-round duel after Crothers used three birdies in the space of five holes on the back nine to shoot two-under 69 on Wednesday for a one-under total.

Hot on his heels is Carter who recorded the final of his five birdies on the 18th hole to get back to even par for the championship, his three-under 68 the equal best of the third round.

A two-time winner of the VIC/TAS Associate Championship, Crothers will call on that experience to add the NSW/ACT title to his growing resume.

“Having a bit of a lead going into the last round definitely helps,” said the Yarrawonga Mulwala Golf Resort Associate.

“I’ve had that experience a few times so I’ll go out there and just keep doing what I’m doing, not worry about too much and hopefully come away with the win.”

In what has proved to be a challenging week for scoring, Crothers has remained largely consistent across the first 54 holes.

A round of 70 on day one gave him a share of the lead before following it up with a two-over 73 on Tuesday where his ball-striking was below his best.

“I hit it much better today. Ideal weather conditions out there today so attacked the course a little bit more and was lucky enough to finish a couple under,” he reflected.

“Yesterday I hit it pretty poorly ball-striking wise but today I really found something. Just played my strategy as I have all week and it all came together today.”

As for the key to Thursday’s final round, Crothers believes the tournament will be won – or lost – on the greens.

“The greens are very tricky,” he said.

“There were a few times today I completely misread it so if you can whole your share of putts around here you’re going to do really well.”

Victorian Ben Paine matched Carter’s round of 68 to earn a share of third alongside Toby Williams (72) and Jack Harrison (73), Kiama Golf Club first year Associate Wil Daibarra moving into outright sixth also with a round of 68.

The final round of the NSW/ACT PGA State Associate Championship starts at 7.20am on Thursday with the final group of Crothers, Carter and Paine to tee off at 8.40am.

Click here for scores and the Round 4 draw.

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