Wade Ormsby was joined at the top of the leaderboard by Brad Kennedy as the ISPS Handa Vic Open got set for a dramatic finish at 13th Beach Golf Club.
The home favourite held a two-shot lead overnight and picked up three more on the front nine on the Beach course but his charging countryman was even more impressive.
Kennedy picked up six birdies to turn in 30 and join Ormsby at 18 under, with South African Justin Harding the next nearest challenger three back.
Scotsman David Law and Australian Jason Scrivener were then at 14 under.
Kennedy and Harding started the day three shots off the lead and while they both took advantage of the par-five second, Ormsby put his approach to ten feet at the first for an opening birdie.
Harding and Kennedy then both put their tee-shots on the par-three third inside six feet for further gains and Kennedy briefly cut the lead to one from 12 feet at the fourth.
Ormsby was not in the mood to be caught, however, and almost holed his third at the second before making a 12-footer of his own to get to 17 under.
Scotsman Law made his first birdie of the day on the fourth from four feet but gave the shot straight back on the next.
Kennedy got on the green at the par-five fifth in two to set up a birdie and Ormsby had to make an excellent par save on the fourth after going left off the tee.
Ormsby got up and down from a bunker on the fifth to re-establish his two-shot cushion but Kennedy was relentless, putting his tee-shot on the par-three seventh to three feet for another birdie.
The 44 year old found rough off the tee on the ninth but hit a wonderful second to six feet to turn in 30 and share the lead.
Harding broke a run of five pars with a birdie of his own on the ninth, while Law birdied the seventh and eighth to keep his hopes alive before dropping a shot on the ninth and picking it back up on the tenth.
Scrivener turned in level-par 36 but then birdied the 11th, 12th, 14th and 15th in a late charge.
Frenchman Clément Sordet - a Challenge Tour graduate in 2017 and Qualifying School graduate in 2018 - was five shots off the lead alongside Scot David Drysdale, one clear of Belgian Nicolas Colsaerts, England's Callum Shinkwin and Australian David Bransdon.