It was musical chairs at the top of the Autex Muriwai Open throughout day three, with defending champion Gareth Paddison ending on top and in control after another challenging battle against Mother Nature on the Jennian Homes Charles Tour.

After Ryan Chisnall and Daniel Hillier flirted with the top of the leaderboard, it was Paddison who showed his experience to now hold a one-shot lead over rookie-professional James Anstiss who carded an impressive round of four-under, 68, as he searches for his maiden professional victory tomorrow.

With a round of one-under, 71, Paddison was far from pleased with his day, but will take huge satisfaction in being able to grind it out and hold onto his lead.

"After the way I played today, it feels fantastic to be at the top," sighed Paddison. "I played really poorly, I wasnt happy with a lot of shots and struggled in the wind this time. I struggled to get it close, picked the wrong clubs and played the par fives poorly."

His spirits picked up after holing two massive putts in a row, followed by a tap in wedge shot to make three birdies in a row.

"Making three birdies in a row was a bit out of the blue and it was all about grinding it out today, so to even beat Ryan and Dan the way they played was satisfying."

This clearly still means a lot to the 37-year old who aims for his fifth Jennian Homes Charles Tour victory tomorrow.

"It means a lot to me personally and would mean even more to defend my title. Its also great to come up against New Zealands best amateurs and new pros, they play to a great standard so its great to see the talent coming through New Zealand Golf."

Queenstowns James Anstiss who returned from playing College Golf in America just in time for the Asia-Pacific Amateur late last year, is now enjoying life as a pro and looks determined to get his account underway tomorrow.

"I just have to go out there and play pretty similar to how I played today, I didnt hit it awesome, but hit it good enough to give myself some good chances and didnt drop any shots which was pleasing," said Anstiss.

He is clearly thriving in the environment on the Jennian Homes Charles Tour which was helped by having family support over the past few days.

"Thats the cool things about these events is that they give you the opportunity to play at the top level and compete. Its been a fun week and I have the brother on the bag who makes things more relaxed."

At a glance:

Chisnall will be ruing a bogey on his final hole of the day which leaves him two shots off the pace after looking in control throughout the third round.

The Tasman professional held the outright lead early in the day before he was joined by Hillier who will be feeling much worse after losing a ball on the 12th which cost him a double bogey.

The scene is clearly set for young versus old on the final day as Paddison looks to fend off the long list of up and coming New Zealand talent who will no doubt be nipping at his heals.

Tom Parker enjoyed his day in the wind to equal the low-round of the tournament with a five-under, 67 which puts him in a three-way tie for the big prize of 52 dozen boxes of Asahi beer tomorrow. However, if the weather is even slightly better than the last three days, one feels that it could be stolen away.


Muchin Keh now holds a commanding six-shot lead entering the final round of the Autex Muriwai Open as she looks certain to claim her third title here at the Muriwai Links Golf Club tomorrow.

With her third consecutive round of 71 in torrid conditions, Keh has been clinical this week to be three-under for the tournament and also has the chance to win an impressive fifth Jennian Homes Charles Tour title.

Many players in both fields would have taken her signed scorecard today which showed an amazing 15 pars with the West Coast wind losing golf balls everywhere.

Keh was more than satisfied with her efforts as she looks to produce a carbon copy of all her first three rounds.

"It was really hard out there again, but I was very happy to play well and hopefully I can do the same tomorrow too," smiled Keh.

"With these conditions anything can happen, so there is a long way to go, but it would be an awesome feeling if I can win here again."

Her nearest rival is Miree Jung who sits at three-over par and Brittney Dryland at five-over.


This tournament has been pounded by bad luck, with the power generator also catching fire this afternoon to put a halt on proceedings (outside the ropes), but the Muriwai Golf Club has handled things superbly.

The more important part is that we have still managed to have three complete rounds of golf without a delay as we look forward to crowning two champions tomorrow afternoon.

The first tee time will be at the usual time of 8:30am with the leading men teeing off at 10:20am.

- This story has been automatically published using a media release from Golf NZ