Golf: Martin retains lead in NZ PGA

Australians Andrew Martin and Brody Ninyette spent the entire day partnered up on the golf course and came out of day three of the PGA Championship within a shot of each other.

Martin began yesterday with a healthy five-shot lead over two compatriots - Ninyette and Clint Rice - and New Zealand's Mark Purser.

However, a three birdie round and a bogey on the 15th hole left him 14 under par overall and allowed Ninyette to close to within a shot with a five-under par scorecard on day three.

Starting with an eagle on the first it looked as though it was going to be Ninyette's day and apart from a bogey on the fourth it was.

The 24-year-old finished with five birdies and eleven pars, making for a competitive final round at the top of the table.

New Zealand's Michael Hendry and Mark Brown held their own to finish third and fourth respectively and Hendry, on 12-under par, says he's relying on a bit of home luck for a PGA title.

"Yeah, hopefully a bit of mana will come out of the ground and help me out a bit and give the Aussies a bad bounce or two, we will see how we go.
"If I keep playing the way I am I'll give myself a chance for sure."

Still, with a quarter of the tournament to go, the former Auckland cricket representative wasn't getting carried away.

"Ive been in this position before and you can't get ahead of yourself, there's so much golf still to be played.

"I'm in a position and and it's up to me to play well tomorrow and if I do hopefully I'll come out on top, if I don't it's no big deal."

Apart from a bogey on the 17th hole, Hendry had a perfect round containing six birdies and 11 pars.

"All in all it was a great round, I played exactly the way I wanted to with my shots and I'm really happy with it."

"Would have been nice to hold a few more putts but I can't complain I played really good."

If Hendry is able to play catchup on the two Australian leaders tomorrow this would be his second biggest title after winning the Indonesian Open in 2010, something he says would be made even more special on his home turf.

"It's really nice to come home and play events of this size in New Zealand and to do well is a bonus and I'd like nothing more than to take this out tomorrow, it would be a very proud moment of my career.

''I can't complain - I'm in position and have a chance to win."


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