Aussie Dobbelaar clings to lead in New Zealand PGA


Former Australian amateur champion Louis Dobbelaar will take a one-stroke lead into the final round of the New Zealand PGA Championship despite giving up ground late on the third day in Auckland.

When Dobbelaar (66) made birdie at the difficult par-4 16th for the second straight day, he held a four-stroke lead at 18-under par before local hope Sung Jin Yeo (67) produced a spirited fightback to draw within one by the day’s end.

Dobbelaar’s bogey at the par-5 17th – his first for the week – opened the door for Yeo, who responded in impressive fashion.

Hailing from North Shore Golf Club – just 30 minutes from Gulf Harbour Country Club where the Championship is being contested – Yeo stiffed his approach shot into 17 to an inch.

He then birdied the final hole to make up three strokes in the space of two holes and sit one behind Dobbelaar’s three-round total of 17-under par.

Raised in Wellington, Dobbelaar’s father Vince has flown in from Queensland to carry the bag for his son on Sunday, just as he did when Louis won the New Zealand Amateur at Royal Wellington Golf Club seven years ago.

“It would be awesome,” said Dobbelaar as he chases a maiden win on the PGA Tour of Australasia.

“I’ll just take one step at a time and keep trying to make birdies and see what happens.

“It’s been a good week here so far. I’m looking forward to one more round.”