REUTERS - Harold Varner made six birdies in a flawless round of 66 to grab a share of the lead after the third round of the Australian PGA Championship on Saturday.
The American shot the lowest round of the day at a windy Royal Pines Resort on the Gold Coast to join the South African pair of Dylan Frittelli and Zander Lombard in a three-way tie for the lead at three-under par.
Frittelli and Lombard both shot rounds of 71 while Australia's Nathan Holman, the only other player under par for the tournament, carded a 70 to move to outright fourth place at one-under.
Sweden's David Lingmerth, the overnight leader, dropped back to even par, level with Australia's Matthew Millar, after a round of 75 on a heavily-congested leaderboard with 20 players within six strokes of the lead.
The big-hitting Varner, who recently graduated to the U.S. PGA Tour, climbed 27 places to grab his share of the lead in the event, co-sanctioned by the European Tour and the PGA Tour of Australasia.
He birdied the third, seventh and eighth holes to move to level par then reeled off three birdies in a row from the 14th despite struggling in the blustery conditions.
"I haven't played in that much wind in a long time," he said.
"When bad things happen, you've just got to shake it off and go onto the next one and today I did that really well."
Writing by Julian Linden in Singapore; editing by Sudipto Ganguly