On a day where everything clicked, Adam Blyth fired 6-under 65 to earn top spot on the leaderboard with one round remaining.
"It was a very calm day and the greens were soft so I thought the scores would be quite low. But when you are in the lead it's not as freewheeling as normal, so I guess the other guys didn't get it together and I managed to have a good round," said Blyth, who is 12-under the card after three rounds.
"I got away to a good start with an eagle on the first; I holed a 30 footer there. I almost had a hole in one on the third. I spun it back to sit on the lip so that would have been nice."
"I just played really solid and it was just perfect out there to play golf."
However rookie Pro and second round leader Jake McLeod is hoping he can recover from his 1-over 72 in the third round to claim the title from his childhood hero.
"I didn't do too much damage. I was hitting it really nicely but I just didn't hole anything," said McLeod, who is one shot off the pace.
"I was hitting them a bit too firm, I probably would have holed four more putts if I just had a good speed. I will do a bit of putting practice this afternoon."
It will be a friendly showdown at Tina Golf Course with the pair singing each other's praises.
"We are both from Yeppoon so it will be a bit of fun. I will just try to out drive him all day and give him a little bit of cheek," added McLeod.
"I will be a lot more comfortable out there with Adam because we will chat and have a joke."
Blyth added, "I've known Jake since he was in grade six. He did a project on his sporting hero and he chose me. So that is pretty funny and I am sure he is embarrassed about it now."
"I really took a liking to Jake, he had a great attitude growing up and I am really happy to see him doing well."
"But it does make me feel old because I still think I am young. Each year there are good new players and Jake is definitely one of them."
At 10-under the card, New Zealander Harry Bateman will join Blyth and McLeod in the final group tomorrow.
Sitting a further shot back is Victorian Deyen Lawson, who was among the top picks at the start of the tournament.
Rounding out the top-5 on 8-under the card are Michael Wright (QLD), Matthew Giles (NSW), Matthew Millar (ACT), Jason Norris (SA), Ben Clementson (NSW) and Tom Power Horan (VIC).The final round of the South Pacific Open will tee off at 7:02am tomorrow morning with the final group on course at 10:50am.
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