(Reuters) - England's Graeme Storm carded a best of the day six under 65 to move into a share of the Blue Chip New Zealand Open lead alonside Australians Kim Felton and Marcus Fraser after the third round, with Michael Campbell among the chasing pack ready to force pressure on the leaders going into the last 18 holes at Gulf Harbour Country Club.
Felton shot a 68 and Fraser 70 to join Storm on five under for the tournament with 208 aggregate scores. With an earlier tee time than his co-leaders, the Englishman took full advantage of the favourable morning conditions to post that blistering six under 65.
Teeing off in sunny, calm weather, Storm, who started the day at one over, got away to a flying start with an eagle three on the second hole. He then proceeded to card four further birdies to catapult himself up the leaderboard.
Shortly after completing his third round, the Englishman said the good conditions had made life easy out on the course.
"I was out early so I was able to capitalise on the weather," he said."I'm very happy to be in with six under for the day and five under for the tournament."
The leading trio are one shot ahead of four players, including 2005 US Open Champion Campbell, Spain's Carl Suneson and experienced Australians Peter Senior and Peter O'Malley, who carded a third round 66.
Campbell struggled to a 73 as gale force winds troubled the late starters at Gulf Harbour.
The local favourite managed just one birdie and made three bogeys, but joint overnight leaders Nick Dougherty of England and Australian Wade Ormsby fared even worse.
Dougherty slumped to an eight par 79 and Ormsby a 76 to plummet down the leaderboard at the event co-sanctioned by The European Tour and the PGA Tour of Austalaisia.