Emerging Aussie star Min Woo Lee on top at Australian PGA after fending off former world No.1 Adam Scott while Cam Smith crashed out of contention

Min Woo Lee has rolled Adam Scott’s best punches and landed some of his own to take a three-shot lead ahead of the final round of the Australian PGA Championship.

The emerging Australian talent was 17 under after shooting a five-under 66 in Saturday’s third round at Brisbane’s Royal Queensland.

Scott just missed a putt on the 12th hole, which would have left the pair tied at the top of the leaderboard.

But the 2013 Masters champion, chasing his first title since early 2020, stumbled on the way home to hit an even-par 71 and remain 11 under.

He came desperately close to regaining some ground with a great approach to the final hole, but Scott’s birdie putt lipped out and Lee rushed to make par.

Woo Lee has a real chance to win the Australian PGA Championship after building to a three-stroke lead heading into the final day

Veteran Adam Scott was brought in to play with Woo Lee on Saturday, but came out second to the rising star

Japan’s Rikuya Hoshino (64) made waves on the back nine with six birdies to take outright second at 14 under, while Curtis Luck (13 under) moved ahead of Scott to third.

Fresh from earning full US PGA Tour playing rights, world number 45 Lee produced another remarkably steady round.

He avoided disaster after finding trees on the ninth and made just a solitary bogey for the third day in a row.

The 25-year-old missed a chance to blow open the tournament when his low-flying approach to the 15th hole drove into the bank to within four meters of the hole.

But his Eagle Putt slipped past, Lee arching his back in fear before tapping in for birdie to go to 16 under.

He added another on the 16th and then navigated the 17th party hole despite going over the back of the green for the second day in a row.

Cameron Smith crashed Friday after enduring the worst round of his professional golf career to date

Rising star Lee started one shot clear and built a four-shot cushion with a birdie at the seventh.

But three holes later that lead was down to one, Scott with a tap-in birdie on the ninth as Lee scrambled from the trees to make par and another on the tenth to pile on the pressure.

Scott had a putt to tie on the 11th stall, just before the hole, at a time that could have affected the momentum.

Earlier, Michael Hendry, back on tour after a blood cancer diagnosis in April, rose from even par to seven under with a bogey-free round of 64.

The New Zealander thought he had missed the cut when he walked off the court on Friday and only survived when it dropped from one under in the final stages of play.