Ryan Chisnall has risen to the top again, after a third-round score of 5-under 65, he leads the Carrus Open by two shots heading into the final day at the Tauranga Golf Club.
A contender in the most recent Jennian Homes Charles Tour events at Murawai and Pegasus last week, Chisnall is looking forward to the challenge of winning his second tour event tomorrow.
“I’m really excited for tomorrow,” Chisnall said, “I’ve obviously been in the mix a few times in these Jennian Homes Charles Tour events and it feel really good to be right there again.
“It was a lot tougher today I thought. It was a lot colder and the wind was really gusty at times.
“I got off to a fast start which I knew I needed to do. Jared was six in front of me and I knew if he got off to a fast start, he would have been hard to catch.
“It was nice to roll a few in early and put a bit of pressure on him and plot along for the rest of the day in some tough conditions. Really happy with five-under.”
Conditions were cold and blustery on moving day, but Chisnall knew he needed to get off to a hot start to track down overnight leader Jared Pender who was four in front of the field, and six ahead of Chisnall.
He managed to do just that, making four birdies in his opening nine to tie the lead quickly with Pender faltering early.
Chisnall put a stamp on his round with birdies on the 16th and 18th holes to take a two-shot lead.
Joining him in the final group is defending champion and hometown favourite Luke Toomey.
Beginning the day at three-under-par, Toomey knew he needed to do something special to throw his name back in the mix; and he did just that.
He fired an astonishing round of nine-under 61 including an incredible stretch on the front nine where he made an eagle at the sixth followed by an albatross at the seventh to be six-under early in his round and just a couple of shots back at the time.
“It was a crazy day today,” Toomey said. “Getting a bit of a jump start at six and seven is not something you plan for or expect.
“My goal for today was to really let go; I think I wanted it too badly the first couple of days, especially the first day. I found it hard to get out of my own way.
“As I say, I have a fairly good connection with this club and almost felt a sense of responsibility that first day. My only goal today was to let go and I felt like I did that so I’m really proud of that.”
The last player joining them in the final group is Darae Chung, the first female to play in the final group as part of the new mixed-gender format on the Jennian Homes Charles Tour.
Joining Chung and Toomey two shots back from Chisnall is James Hydes.
Leaderboard Round 3
14-Under 196 Ryan Chisnall (PGA New Zealand) 62 69 65
12-Under 198 Luke Toomey (PGA New Zealand) 69 68 61, Darae Chung (Shandon) 64 68 66, James Hydes (Gulf Harbour Country Club) 64 65 69
11-Under 199 Woonchul Na (PGA New Zealand) 64 69 66, Jared Pender (Te Puke) 62 63 74
10-Under 200 Chang Gi Lee (PGA New Zealand) 69 66 65, Michael Hendry (PGA New Zealand) 67 66 67
9-Under 201 Gareth Paddison (PGA New Zealand) 71 64 66, Jim Cusdin (Tauranga) 65 66 70