Gareth Paddison is in prime position to go wire-to-wire as he enters the final round of the Autex Muriwai Open with a convincing five shot lead tomorrow.
Paddison is aiming to achieve the rare feat of two consecutive wins on the Jennian Homes Charles Tour after a victory in last weeks marathon playoff at the Akarana Open.
Josh Geary was his main rival this morning, but after a disastrous round of five-over par, he gave Paddison the chance to play safe and steady golf.
"Yeah I played solid today, even with my putter being quiet once again, but hopefully they will drop when it counts tomorrow," said Paddison.
"Im well and truly overdue to drop a big putt or two!"
With four birdies and one bogey today, it was stress free golf for the Wellingtonian who never looked like giving up the lead. He has taken a lot of confidence from his performance at the Akarana Golf Club this week and will look to use that to his advantage.
"Its not often you get the opportunity to lead tournaments and Akarana has given me great preparation and confidence heading into tomorrow, so hopefully I can do it with a bit more comfort this time," smiled Paddison.
"I guess you go into these events as one of the top ten favourites, but to win two back-to-back would be outstanding, so I am looking forward to giving it my all tomorrow."
It was bizarre to see Geary drop so far off the pace after he carded the equal low-round of the tournament (64) yesterday. His 13 shot difference from day one gave Mark Brown and Shaun Jones a chance to claw back into the contest. They sit five and six shots behind respectively and will require early brilliance if they are to upset the inform Paddison.
Brown shot the lowest round of the day (66) which included an eagle on the par five 14th to boost him into outright second.
It is clearly a two-horse race in the womens field with Chantelle Cassidy sneaking ahead of overnight leader Hanee Song by one, but they have left the rest in their dust with the next best seven shots behind.
Cassidy was clinical in producing a three-under round of 69, while Song struggled to complete the day one-over the card. This will provide an exciting finale tomorrow as the two look to claim their first Autex Muriwai Open.
The experienced amateur in Cassidy is looking forward to the challenge and hopes to produce something similar to this afternoons performance.
"Its really good to be leading heading into the final round and I will just be aiming to keep my composure and hopefully play like I did today," said Cassidy.
"I havent seen Hanee for a couple of years which was nice and going head to head will be fun, but I just have to stick to my game plan."
If Cassidy is to get the chocolates this time tomorrow, it will be her fourth win on the Jennian Homes Charles Tour with two Harewood Open titles and one Lawnmaster to her name.
The Muriwai locals will be counting down the hours before the battle in the womens field tees off at 9:20am and Paddison will look to secure his second consecutive victory on the Jennian Homes Charles Tour at 10:20am.