Englishman Ross McGowan has put the celebrations for his course record 63 on hold as the Englishman waits to see whether his four-round total of 11-under par is in fact good enough to win the Australian PGA Championship.
Twenty-four hours after playing by himself in the first group of the day with only red-shirted volunteers for company, McGowan set a new low mark at the remodeled RACV Royal Pines Resort with nine birdies and no bogeys.
Starting the final round in 32nd position having only just made the cut on Friday, McGowan is in possession of the clubhouse lead in fourth position as front-runners Marc Leishman, Cameron Smith and Matthew Millar navigate the Royal Pines back nine.
His planned post-round beer had to be postponed but he will have plenty of opportunity to toast his stunning performance on his flight to South Africa at 10pm tonight, with or without the Joe Kirkwood Cup.
“I feel like a beer, but I’m not sure that’s going to be the route to go just yet,” McGowan said after making his course record official.
“I’ll probably watch a few holes and I guess get some lunch first and see what’s going on.
“Got to think about getting my flight later too.
“This place is brutal. Really happy to shoot 9-under and didn’t really see a score like that out there.
“When I hit a few irons close and made the putts, that made life a little easier.”
A 2-under par round of 70 on Saturday was most notable for its isolation, McGowan reminding himself that finishing as quickly as possible wasn’t the primary aim.
“I have (played by myself), but I think on a Sunday, so normally just try to finish as quick as possible,” said McGowan, whose best round on tour is a 60 at the Madrid Masters.
“On a Saturday, it’s hard to pace myself. Stupidly three-putted the second hole yesterday morning and realised then I’ve got to take my time and give myself a breather between shots because you leave yourself a two-footer back, you just feel like got to knock it in.
“You’ve actually got to step back, especially with these greens and the grain, and take your time.
“There was nobody else on the course except the volunteers, so I had a big clan of red T-shirts support me, it was brilliant.
“Every hole they were out there cheering me on, so it was good fun.”