Sydney, Australia (SportsNetwork.com) - Adam Scott carded a 4-under 68 on Saturday to push his lead over Rory McIlroy to four strokes after three rounds of the Australian Open.
Scott, the second-ranked player in the world, finished 54 holes at 16-under- par 200 at Royal Sydney Golf Club.
World No. 6 McIlroy carded a 2-under 70 in round three and ended at minus-12.
It looks to be a 2-man race as Scott goes for the Australian triple crown. He has already claimed the Australian PGA and Taliskar Masters. If Scott can hang on for the win Sunday, he would join Robert Allenby as the only two players to sweep all three major Australian events in the same year.
Allenby did so in 2005, but he failed to win the Order of Merit that year since he didn't have the minimum number of events played. Because of that, Scott walked away with the Order of Merit title.
On Saturday, Scott and McIlroy both started with birdies on the first and bogeys at the fourth. McIlroy fell four off the pace as he tripped to a double-bogey on the par-4 fifth.
The reigning Masters champion kicked off a run of three consecutive birdies at the seventh. McIlroy also birdied the seventh, but was six back at the turn. There was a 2-stroke swing in the Ulsterman's favorite at the 10th.
McIlroy converted a birdie try, while Scott stumbled to a bogey. The 2012 PGA Championship winner trimmed the deficit to three with a birdie on No. 13. The pair matched birdies on 14, before Scott birdied the last to push his lead back to four heading to the final round.
Richard Green (73), Matt Jones (72) and Max McArdle (69) share third place at 8-under 208, while Nathan Holman (68), Stuart Appleby (67), Scott Arnold (69) and Leigh McKechnie (71) are tied for sixth at minus-7.