Cameron Smith has momentum and a great chance to start 2020 with a US PGA Tour victory, sitting second heading into the Sony Open final round in Hawaii.

The Australian started the third round one off the lead and slipped back before birdieing four of the last five holes to card a four-under 66 at Waialae Country Club on Saturday (US time).

He will play in the final group with the leader, American Brendan Steele, who has grabbed a three-shot lead at 12 under after carding a 64.

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Steele is chasing a fourth PGA Tour victory, and first since repeating at the Safeway Open in 2017.

Already closing on $US10 million in tour earnings, 26-year-old Smith is seeking his second win, and first individual title, having shared in a two-man team event victory in 2017.

Well-performed Americans Kevin Kisner (64) and Webb Simpson (66) are just a shot further back, tied with gun youngster Collin Morikawa (68).

Young Australian Cameron Davis can also give his tour career a big boost on Sunday.

Despite slipping back to tied 11th after a 71, he is still only five shots behind Steele.

Matt Jones is next-best of the Australians at tied 30th (2 under), ahead of Marc Leishman (1 under) Rhein Gibson (2 over).