Australian John Senden had an eagle and two birdies over four holes on the back nine at The Lakes on Saturday, finishing with a 2-under 70 for a two-stroke lead after three rounds of the Australian Open.
Senden, the 2006 champion, had a three-round total of 7-under 209 in tough windy conditions. Englishman Justin Rose, who also shot 70, was in second place, followed by Australians Matthew Jones (69), Peter Senior (69) and Kieran Pratt (70).
''As you can see, it was a difficult time out there,'' Rose said of the conditions. ''It's hard to even tap in from a few feet out there.
Told the southerly winds were forecast to be as strong for Sunday's final round, Rose said: ''I look forward to the battle tomorrow.''
Stuart Appleby (70), fellow Australian Cameron Percy (72) and American Kyle Stanley (70) share sixth place at three under. Appleby briefly took the lead before a back-nine stumble, but was pleased to be within several shots of the lead.
''I feel like I'm coming back,'' Appleby said. ''My game is definitely on the uptake. Mentally, I've really struggled the past year or more, nearly two years, to I guess believe in myself.''
Adam Scott shot 71 to put him in a group of nine tied at 214, five strokes behind. Included in that group was second-round leader Marcus Fraser of Australia, who shot 76 Saturday.
American Tom Watson, the 1984 Australian Open champion, shot 78 for the second time in three rounds and was among the last-placed golfers to make the cut.