Hometown favourite Cameron Smith endured some mid-round troubles to claim a three-shot lead headed into the final day of the Fortinet Australian PGA Championship in Brisbane.

The Open champion and world number three began the day trailing compatriot Jason Scrivener by a single stroke – a deficit he quickly set about erasing.

Smith - who left the PGA Tour for the breakaway LIV Golf after his major triumph - took the lead with birdies on four of his first seven holes, before a dropped shot on the par-five ninth signalled a significant change in momentum, leading to two more bogeys on holes 11 and 12.

But the 29-year-old relied on his Tour experience to reset and pick up two more birdies down the stretch.

Despite dropping another shot on the 18th, Smith's score of two-under 69 was enough to carry a three-shot advantage into Sunday, ahead of China’s Yan Wei Liu and Masahiro Kawamura of Japan.

Meanwhile, overnight leader Scrivener fell to equal-fourth after carding five bogeys en route to a score of three-over 74.