A final round showdown looms at the GOLFMATE NSW/ACT PGA State Associate Championship after runaway leader Mitchell Smith came back to the field in Wednesday’s third round at Moruya Golf Club.
The icy blast sweeping the eastern seaboard hit hard on the New South Wales South Coast, a hailstorm forcing a brief postponement of play.
Eight shots clear at the halfway mark of the tournament, the Sanctuary Cove Golf and Country Club Associate struggled to maintain his heady pace in the bitterly cold conditions, three bogeys on each nine adding up to a 6-over 77 to be the only player under par through 54 holes at 1-under.
As Smith struggled, fellow Queenslander Jackson Jubelin (Palm Meadows) made up ground albeit in wildly fluctuating fashion.
Despite bogeys at one and three and a double-bogey at the par-4 seventh, Jubelin made the turn in 1-over, two birdies and two bogeys on the back nine enabling him to cut the margin by five strokes with a third round of 72.
The two Maroons will have a host of New South Welshman hot on their heels on Thursday with Toby Williams (St Michaels) and former tour player Luke Humphries (Goulburn) four strokes back of Smith in a share of third.
Williams was the only player able to better par in Wednesday’s difficult conditions, his round of 3-under 68 featuring three straight birdies to close out the front nine and back-to-back birdies to complete his round and move inside the top five.
First groups tee off at 7.15am on Thursday morning with the group of Smith, Jubelin and Williams to commence their final rounds at 8.27am.