Wade Ormsby will take a two-shot lead into the final round of the ISPS Handa Vic Open after a testing third day at 13th Beach Golf Club.
After very low scoring on Thursday and Friday, high winds and some heavy rain made life far more difficult on the weekend, with Ormsby recovering from an early double-bogey to card a two-under par 70 and move to 15 under.
Fellow Australian Matthew Stieger recorded the round of the day with a stunning 65 to sit at 13 under alongside England's Callum Shinkwin, who signed for a very impressive 66.
Challenge Tour graduate David Law, South African Justin Harding and Australia's Brad Kennedy were then three shots off the lead.
Ormsby claimed his maiden title at the 264th time of asking at last season's UBS Hong Kong Open en route to finishing a career-high 48th on the Race to Dubai Rankings presented by Rolex.
The 38 year old has now teamed up with two-time European Tour winner Robert Rock and Liam James and the coaching changes look to be bearing fruit on home soil.
"I made a bit of a meal of it straight out of the box," he said. "It was just tough out there. I just kept grinding, really, that's all we can do in weather like that. You're going to hit a lot of bad shots, need to recover a lot and I did that quite well so I'm happy.
"I feel good. I'm pretty relaxed this week, I'm treating it as a bit of a holiday. I had a tough week last week so I'm trying to enjoy myself a little bit more this week, so I'm doing that so far."
Stieger was out in the very first group of the day and made birdies on the second, third, tenth, 11th, 13th, 14th and last to get within one of the lead with a 65.
Shinkwin then joined him at 13 under with a 66 that included a double-bogey and eight birdies. The Englishman made gains on the second, third, fifth, seventh, tenth and 11th, and bounced back from his blemish on the 13th with birdies on the 16th and last.
When the leaders got under way, the rain had relented a little but there was still a stiff breeze, although Kennedy made a birdie on the first from 15 feet.
Ormsby found a horrible lie on the par-five second and ended up surrendering a double-bogey, with overnight leader Jason Scrivener also dropping a shot from a similar position.
An excellent tee-shot on the par-three next then allowed Scrivener to make a birdie from ten feet and when he holed from similar range on the next, he had a two-shot advantage and was four ahead of Ormsby.
Scrivener would go on to drop five shots over his remaining 14 holes and it was left to Ormsby, Kennedy and Law to chase the clubhouse leaders.
Ormsby played a lovely chip on the par-five fifth as he regained a shot but when Kennedy recovered from a bogey on the seventh with brilliant second shots into the ninth and tenth, he led by one.
A 12-footer at the ninth got Ormsby back to level on the day and a Kennedy bogey after missing the green on the 12th meant there was a five-way tie for the lead.
Ormsby got a nice bounce into the green on the same hole and capitalised from 15 feet, adding another birdie on the par-five last, while Kennedy dropped a shot on the 15th.
Law birdied the second and then sandwiched two monster putts on the sixth and seventh with bogeys on the third and ninth before coming home with a bogey on the 13th and a birdie on the 15th.
Earlier in the day, Harding had gains on the second, fifth, sixth, eighth, 14th and 15th in a 66.
Nicolas Colsaerts, Paul Dunne and and David Bransdon were at 11 under.
In the women's event, American Kim Kaufman had a late stumble but will take a two-shot lead into the final round after moving to ten under with a 75.
Frenchwoman Celine Boutier matched the lowest round of the day with a 69 to sit alongside home favourite Su Oh at eight under.