By Peter White in Fiji

New Zealand golfers Daniel Pearce and Harry Bateman are still in contention heading into tomorrow's final round of the Fiji International but missed a great chance for push for the lead.

Conditions were ideal for low scoring at Natadola Bay with light trade winds easing the hot temperatures at the magnificent setting.

Pearce set the early pace with an opening round of six-under 66 and retained his lead into today's round. But he lost momentum with a bogey-ridden 73 to finish on six-under, four shots behind leader Wade Ormsby from Australia.


Pearce managed birdies on 13 and 14 before dropping a shot on the par-four 16th. He had makeable birdie putts on both the last two holes but both putts lipped out.

Despite losing the lead Pearce is confident he can use his hitting power to shoot a low number to win the lion's share of the rich $1.8 million purse.

"I am a little disappointed, mainly with the put on 17 and if the one on18 had dropped in it would have been nice to finish on even," Pearce said.

"I feel pretty good. I know I am playing some pretty good golf and if I can get the putter going like I did the first day then anything can happen. I am still there and there abouts so we will see how it goes.

"I have a little bit of an advantage with how far I can hit it and generally how straight I hit it so hopefully I can get a few more birdie putts to roll."

Bateman followed up his second round off 66, which included a hole in one, with a one-under 71 to be a shot back from Pearce on five-under.

He was heading for a better finish until two sloppy bogeys on the final two holes.

"It is funny. The first day I didn't play well at all, yesterday I played amazing and today I didn't feel like I played very well. I didn't hit the ball very well and was a bit sloppy," Bateman said.

"I have struggled round here before so it is nice to put a few good scores on the board."
Next best of the Kiwis are Gareth Paddison and Michael Long (-3), Josh Geary and Mark Brown (-1), Kieran Muir (even) and Ryan Fox (+1).

Muir admitted to being nervous on the first tee paired with three-time Major winner Vijay Singh. But it must have helped as he birdied four of the opening six holes to move into fourth place.

But disaster struck on the back nine as he dropped five shots in two holes to finish on even par alongside Singh.

*Peter travelled to Fiji courtesy of Fiji Airways.