Its deja vu on the Jennian Homes Charles Tour with recent Akarana Open champions, Gareth Paddison and Hanee Song, holding the outright lead once again, this time at the Autex Muriwai Open.
Paddison holds a three-shot lead over Josh Geary after carding seven birdies this afternoon, but mixed with four bogeys, he was unable to repeat his opening round of 64 at the Muriwai Links Golf Club.
He is arguably in career best form and is rightfully satisfied with his lead entering the weekend.
"It was quite tricky out there with a lot of wind, but to get around in three-under is a good knock at the end of the day," said Paddison.
"You have to be happy with a three-shot advantage, I knew there was going to be some really good golf today, but I played solid and sadly just didnt get anything going with the putter this afternoon."
It almost feels like a two-horse race already with Paddison looking forward to playing alongside his friend and rival in Geary.
"Josh obviously played outstanding this morning and I am looking forward to playing with him tomorrow. We enjoy playing together and hopefully we can push each other to card even more birdies over the weekend."
Geary did his best to chase down the leader after equalling Paddisons low round of the tournament (64) to now sit in second place alone.
After a frustrating finish in round one, things were clicking for Geary who signed for eight birdies and zero bogeys.
"I played well yesterday and just dropped a few silly shots late in the piece, but this morning I changed that on the back nine and played really well," said Geary.
"A couple of tap-in birdies helped me get on a roll early. Theres not much difference between a good and a bad round, it was just a putt here and there that made a big difference."
Its not just the Muriwai Open trophy on the line this week, with Asahi offering a whopping 52 dozen for the low round of the week. This was clearly on Gearys mind as he tried to cure his thirst for the year, but missed a birdie chance on the final hole.
"Absolutely it was on my mind, through nine holes thats all I was after, so it worked out alright. It would have been nice to go one clear, but I will take it."
If no one can beat their total of 64, the Asahi prize will be shared between them.
Chang-Gi Lee and Shaun Jones sit a further two and three shots respectively back from second placed Geary and if they are to have any chance of competing, they will require some early magic tomorrow.
Eagle, birdie, birdie was the run that ignited Hanee Songs Muriwai Open this afternoon and she now holds a two-shot lead in the womens field after her round of 66.
The new Akarana Open champion showed why she is the one to beat this week after her exciting three holes included holing out for an eagle two from 146m with 5-wood, chipping in on the next hole for birdie and finally she lipped out for eagle to settle for a birdie three.
"I had 146 metres into the wind, so I grabbed my 5-wood and it somehow magically went into the hole!" laughed Song.
"On the next hole it was into the wind again and my approach didnt make it to the green, but my pitch shot went in from 30 metres away, so it felt pretty cool."
Although emotions were running high, she will be keeping a calm head entering the weekend.
"Its always nice to be in the lead, but I just try not to think about it and aim to make more birdies and pars when I need to."
The chasing pack of Chantelle Cassidy, Jenna Hunter and Alanna Campbell have some work to do if they are to be a chance on Sunday afternoon. Cassidy was leading for most of the round before Songs heroics and now sits two shots back.
With the field being cut to the top 50 plus ties for the men and top 12 plus ties for the women, moving day will tee off at 8:30am and the leading group of Paddison, Geary and Lee at 10:20am.
- This story has been automatically published using a media release from Golf NZ