Rohan Blizard carded a six-under 66 to take a one-shot lead after the third round of the NZ PGA Championship on Saturday.
The Australian holed six birdies at The Hills Golf Club in Queenstown, moving to 15 under as he continued his strong showing at the tournament.
Local and defending champion Michael Hendry is a shot behind after his four-under 68, while Scott Strange, who was in a three-way tie for the lead at the halfway mark, is 13 under.
Australian Leigh Deagan (12 under), China's Li Hao-Tong and Kiwi Gareth Paddison (both 11 under) also remain in the hunt heading into the final round.
Aaron Townsend, who shared the overnight lead with Strange and Hendry, could only manage an even-par 72 to be tied for seventh at 10 under.
But it was Blizard who surged clear, birdying his first two holes before holing another four around the turn.
A bogey at the par-three seventh cost Hendry, but it was his only blemish as he stayed in contention at the PGA Tour of Australasia tournament.
Townsend was inconsistent, producing four birdies and as many bogeys to slip to 10 under, alongside Japan's Toshinori Muto, Australians Jake Higginbottom and Daniel Nisbet and Kiwis Greg Turner and Mathew Perry and Vietnam's Michael Tran.