Starting the day with an impressive four shot lead, Michael Hendry now has company after the second round of the Lawnmaster Classic.
Gareth Paddison shot a flawless seven under par (65) to grab a share of the lead with Hendry. Josh Geary is now just one shot off the pace to confirm the final group will be an experienced trio New Zealand golfers.
Shooting a career best tournament round of -11 (61) yesterday, Hendry found it difficult to continue from where he left off handing in a disappointing even par round.
Hendry's ball striking may not have been as perfect as yesterday, but his struggles on the greens today were evident.
"I didn't hit it quite as well as yesterday, I'll admit that. I wasn't as clinical from tee to green but it wasn't terrible," said Hendry.
"I really, really struggled on the greens. Unfortunately golf is one of those games where from day to day you're going to have good luck and the next you're going to have a bit of bad luck, so I think that's what happened to me today. It was more bad luck than bad golf."
The defending champion is now back with the pack and to make matters more challenging for Hendry, he is joined by some experienced and talented golfers.
Paddison came flying home this afternoon with four birdies in his last five holes to announce himself as a serious contender at the Lawnmaster Classic.
"It will be great fun tomorrow, Mike's playing really well but his even par round would have felt like a disaster today," said Paddison.
"Geary is in really good form, as am I, so hopefully the galleries will come down and watch the final day.
You don't get this opportunity to play with two good kiwi's that are on main tours, we haven't ever had this in a big tournament so to have it on the Jennian Homes Charles Tour will be fantastic."
"We want all the guys to go low because that's what you will face on tour overseas and it will force you to play the good shots."
Josh Geary managed to put together two solid rounds of 66 and 68 to be just one shot behind his rivals and good mates.
Geary made six birdies throughout the day, but coupled that with two bogeys that cost him the lead. All and all, it was a pleasing round for the third ranked Kiwi golfer.
"The five shot buffer after round one was a bit too much, now the lead is down to one its well within our sights," said Geary.
"Now I have a chance to win, it's all the more exciting."
James Beale, Sam An and Victor Janin all join Geary on ten under par heading into the final 18 holes. They have all shown going low isn't an issue, they will just need to do it once more against one of the strongest fields we have seen on the Jennian Homes Charles Tour.
Sam An produced the most colourful card of the day starting with a double bogey on the first, to then go nine under from there finishing with a ridiculous 65.
Chantelle Cassidy is leading the charge in the women's field with Amelia Garvey in a close second as they enter what will be a final round shootout.
The two provincial representatives are well clear of their nearest competitors and it would be a surprise to see them get chased down tomorrow.
Cassidy carded a clinical -6 (67) to once again lead on the Jennian Homes Charles Tour.
As mentioned prior to the tournament, Cassidy will be aiming to go back to back titles after her success at Harewood late last year.
Garvey has never lacked talent and seems to be putting it all in place here at the Manawatu Golf Club.
"I had two good rounds in Dunedin a couple of weeks ago which sort of got me going, but it's been a long time coming as I haven't had many good results recently," said Garvey.
The Final round of the 54 hole Lawnmaster Classic will commence at 8:45am with New Zealand's best going head to head in what will no doubt be a thrilling finish.