Gareth Paddison made a late surge to card consecutive rounds of 64 and lead the Barfoot & Thompson Akarana Open by three shots.
The former champion had a handful of players cutting into his lead throughout the day, but he showed his class to protect his advantage and is now in position to win his third Jennian Homes Charles Tour title.
In perfect scoring conditions, the left hander carded seven birdies to continue his strong form at one of his favourite tournaments.
"It was very pleasing, nice to walk off the golf course with another good score. I have played some really good golf and feel I have been rewarded for it," said Paddison.
With the rest of the field making birdies at will throughout the morning, the scoreboard pressure would have been building on Paddison who showed experience to not let it affect him.
"I didnt even look at the boards today, I just thought I need to play my own game and it didnt matter what other people were doing out there, so that was key for me."
"Once I got to three or four under I thought that was already going to be a good knock and I couldnt go backwards."
"It would mean a lot to me, especially with Mike Hendry, Mark Brown and Josh Geary in the field, theres some big names that play full time, so it would be great for me."
The Akarana Open has an exciting chasing pack for the final round with Mark Brown and Michael Hendry due to fire. Hendry is also aiming to win his fourth consecutive Jennian Homes Charles Tour that he has entered.
However, Whakatane youngster Henry Spring showed he can foot it with the big names as he shot an easy six-under par round to sit in second place on his own with rounds of 68, 65 and 64.
Spring went toe-to-toe with the New Zealand Open Champion Mike Hendry who he was paired with today, and finished one shot ahead of the veteran.
One of New Zealands rising amateurs from Wellington Daniel Hillier did his best to get back into the tournament today after shooting the tournaments lowest round of eight-under 62, to now sit in sixth place. His week could have been much different if it wasnt for an opening round of three-over par.
First round leader, Hanee Song is still on song in the womens field, but her lead was quickly stolen away from her early this morning with an exciting five-under par round from Aucklands newest talent, Carmin Lim.
Lim made four birdies in her first five holes to rocket into contention. With just the one bogey she showed that anything can happen leading into the final round.
Leader Song, struggled to find consistency matching her four birdies with the same amount of bogeys to frustrate the leader, but being the most experienced in the field this shouldnt phase her.
"It was a tough day today, but its still nice to have the lead and hopefully I can improve on those errors," said Song.
"It would mean so much to get a win on the Jennian Homes Charles Tour, so I am looking forward to getting out there and just having fun."
Tomorrow is destined to be an exciting finish with the Akarana Golf course proving that there are low scores on offer. The question is, can anyone chase down the former champion who currently holds a three-shot lead? Find out tomorrow when they tee off at 8:30am.
- This story has been automatically published using a media release from Golf NZ