Published: Nov 26, 2011 4:56 AM EST
Updated: Nov 26, 2011 7:30 AM EST

COOLUM, Australia (AP) - Bubba Watson and Australian Marcus Fraser were tied for the lead after nine holes of Saturday's third round at the Australian PGA championship.

Watson started the day two strokes behind second-round leader Fraser, but the big-hitting American eagled the par-5 first hole and was 3-under for the day when making the turn at the Hyatt Regency resort course. Watson and Fraser were at 12-under, with K.T. Kim and Robert Allenby a stroke behind.

Australian Rod Pampling had the best round of the early finishers - a 6-under 66 that left him at 7-under 209.

British Open champion Darren Clarke had an awful day, shooting 79, prompting him to tweet: "Sometimes golf is easy, sometimes golf is tough but today I was brutal!! lovemyjob."