Moran shares Australian Amateur lead despite closing double bogey

Ronan MacNamara
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Robert Moran (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)

Robert Moran will take a share of the lead into the final round of the Australian Amateur Championship in New South Wales after a day of tough scoring in Sydney.

Moran carded a level-par 72 to remain on nine-under-par but it was enough to see him move into a three-way share of the lead with Japan’s Taishi Moto and New Zealand’s Kazuma Kobori.

The Castle golfer had edged two shots in front playing the 54th but a double-bogey seven dropped him back into a share of the lead and brought as many as fifteen players into contention.

Teeing off just one shot adrift of the halfway advantage, the 22-year-old dropped a shot on the par-3 2nd before a birdie on the par-5 5th, a crucial up and down par on 7 and a pitch and putt birdie on the par-5 8th saw him grab a share of the lead.

An impressive sand saving par on 9 saw him turn in 35 and maintain his tie of the lead.

Conditions were blustery, particularly on the back nine and as his nearest competitors threw in bogeys, Moran looked as if he was putting together a very impressive back nine with a run of seven successive pars before arresting that run with a birdie two on 17 to move two shots clear.

Unfortunately for the Dubliner, a double on the 18th saw him cough up his advantage heading into the final round.

Moran was named in the provisional 19-man Great Britain and Ireland Walker Cup squad for September’s tie against the USA in St Andrews with performances abroad set to play a huge role in the selection process.

Galway’s Liam Nolan was also included on that panel and he caught the eye with Sunday’s South American Amateur win and Moran can perhaps go one better by holding off some potential Walker Cup competitors and claim a huge win Down Under.

Walker Cup hopefuls Arron Edwards Hill of England and Scotland’s Gregor Tait lie in wait on eight-under while John Gough, whose father is from Co. Meath, is a shot further back on seven-under alongside World Number One disability golfer, Kipp Popert who shot into contention with a timely 67.

The top-15 are separated by just four shots.

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