Golf: Muir has career day at Akarana Open

Kieran Muir during the Barfoot and Thompson Charles Tour, Akarana Open. Photo / Simon Watts
Kieran Muir during the Barfoot and Thompson Charles Tour, Akarana Open. Photo / Simon Watts

Kieran Muir has shot a career best round of nine under par (61) to lead the Akarana Open at the penultimate event on the Jennian Homes Charles Tour.

Starting the day five strokes in the rear of Jordan Loof, Muir came out of the gates on fire with an eagle three on the tenth. He went on to complete each nine in four under par to produce one of the most colourful scorecards seen on tour.

On his way to leading after 36 holes, Muir only had one thing in mind this afternoon and that was the magic number, even with his four bogeys.

"Ohhh having the lead is nice, I was in the hunt for a 59 which was what I focused on because those don't come around very often, but 61 is very pleasing," said Muir.
"After being seven under through ten I had a feeling and was just aiming to continue the form."

Akarana is all about putting well with the course being reasonably short and Muir was on point with the flat stick.

"As the boys will tell you I holed everything. I feel like that's the difference out here. You can cruise around and play well, but you need to make up the shots on the putting green here."

Muir has been in this position multiple times this summer yet hasn't got over the line, so he will be looking to use the experience to build and maybe turn his lead into a maiden Jennian Homes Charles Tour victory.

"I have made more progress in the last six months than the last year or so and I am in a good mental space, so this is just a result of that."

Jordan Loof was sitting pretty in the clubhouse at 11 under the card, but once again the afternoon field was the more dominant.

Defending Champion Gareth Paddison also lit up Akarana carding an eight under round to be right back in the mix heading into the weekend.

"Really happy, hit a lot of good shots, but the putter was working a charm today," said the defending champion.

With an eagle two on the par four seventh, it was clear the 2015 champion was on a mission.

"It was down wind today which helped and after missing an easy birdie putt on the previous hole, to see my wedge go in from 110m made up for that ten-fold!"

Paddison was the ring leader in a group that shot a collective -21 with New Zealand amateur Ryan Chisnall going seven under and Nick Gillespie six under.

Professional Rica Tse has taken top spot in the women's field after firing a three under (69) to lead by that margin of three shots.

The former North Harbour representative made four birdies and just the one bogey in what was clearly a very solid 18 holes.

"To be honest I haven't been thinking about the leaderboard, but returning to New Zealand and being in the lead is a nice feeling," said Tse.

"The standard and numbers have lifted heaps since I left so it is nice to see a lot of progress being made by New Zealand Golf."

The players who made the three over par cut line will be getting a little sleep in with play to commence at 8:30am.

- NZ Herald

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