Kazuma Kobori holds a one-shot lead going into the final round of the Autex Muriwai Open.

The wind picked up in typical Muriwai fashion for moving day today and Kobori shot an impressive third round of three-under to be six-under for the tournament to edge Jake Meenhorst, James Anstiss, and Harry Bateman.

He carded rounds of 66 and 75 over the first two days.

Kobori, 20, got off to a steady start, making nine pars in a row to remain in touch with the leaders.

He finally got on the board at the tenth with a birdie, but gave that shot straight back at the 11th. The bogey appeared to spark something inside Kobori as he rattled off birdies at the 12th, 14th, and a finishing birdie at the 18th to take the clubhouse lead.

With Bateman bogeying the last, Kobori holds the solo lead with one round to go.

Kazuma Kobori on his day:

You’ve taken the lead at the Autex Muriwai Open… How do you sum up your day?

“I had to stay pretty patient out there today. I got off to a very mediocre start and made nine pars before making a birdie on ten. Unfortunately, I gave it straight back on 11 which was pretty demoralising but I managed to come back pretty hot and shot three-under from there.

“I can’t really complain.”

What would it mean to win your first Jennian Homes Charles Tour event come tomorrow afternoon?

“That would be really cool. However, there is still plenty of golf to play tomorrow and it’s anyone’s game. There are so many people within four shots of the lead, and honestly, anyone can still win. Even if I shoot six-under, someone else in front could go lights out.

“That’s out of my control so all I’m going to do tomorrow is control all the things I can, and we’ll see what happens.”

How do you approach the final round tomorrow?

“I tried something today and that seemed to work pretty well. I tried to take each shot as a challenge and not worry about what my score or other players’ scores are, as that’s out of my control.

“I’m just going to keep doing what I did today and hopefully it works.”

Muriwai local Jake Meenhorst fired the round of the day to catapult himself up into a share of second place and be in contention for a maiden Jennian Homes Charles Tour win.

After shooting 71 and 73 in the first two rounds, Meenhorst caught fire in blustery conditions on moving day to shoot an astonishing five-under 67.

He got off to a fast start making eagle at the par 5 second. He bogeyed the fourth and then made three birdies on the trot to be four-under-par early. Meenhorst finished his front nine with a bogey on eight and a birdie on nine.

His closing nine was fairly uneventful. He made pars all the way till the 17th when he added another birdie to his tally. He made a solid par up the last to make his way into the final pairing tomorrow.

Jake Meenhorst on his day:

You’ve shot the round of the day to catapult yourself into contention, you must be pretty happy?

“I played very steadily out there today. I hit some good shots on the front nine which led to a couple of birdies and an eagle. I obviously got off to a good start and I keep the momentum going the entire way round and signed for a good score.”

You’re a bit of a local out here… Does that give you an advantage in tricky conditions like this?

“It definitely helps with a few lines off tees and spots to miss it. I think it also helps with the wind too; it can swirl on a few holes and to know the trademark direction of the wind and how strong it hits certain areas certainly helps.”

It’s your first year as a professional too, how do you sum up your year so far?

“It’s been great! I’ve had a win early on and I’m really enjoying my golf and the Pro-Am lifestyle. I get to play with the amateurs most weeks which is just like playing with your mates, so it’s a good time.”

What would it mean to win your first Jennian Homes Charles Tour event at a course your very familiar with?

“It’d be huge. Just to play well and be in contention is lovely. There is plenty of good names on this trophy and to put my name alongside those guys would be a real treat.”

What’s your game plan heading into the final round?

“Nothing changes from the first three days. I just need to stick to my lines off the tees and commit to every shot and add the score up at the end. We’ll see what happens.”

James Anstiss is looking to add a second Autex Muriwai Open to his tally tomorrow as he sits a shot back following rounds of 70, 70, and 71.

He got off to a slow start making a bogey at the first and a birdie at the second. He dropped another at the fifth with a bogey but was able to bounce back immediately again with a birdie at the par 5 sixth. He closed his opening nine with a birdie at the ninth.

His back nine was also uneventful, making a bogey at ten and a birdie at 14. He made a solid up and down for par on the 18th to force his way into the final group.

James Anstiss on his day:

It was obviously a very tough day out there, are you happy with the round today?

“I’m hitting it really good. It was obviously a tough day out there and I haven’t holed a putt all week. I’m hoping to hit it well tomorrow and I find something on a putting green this afternoon that I can take into tomorrow.”

Last time you were at Muriwai you walked away with the win and the last time you teed it up in a Jennian Homes Charles Tour event you won too. Is there anything you can take from those tournaments going into tomorrow?

“I’ve been in this situation a few times now. It’s been about 12 months since I teed it up in a four-round event and about 15-months since I’ve been in a final group, so to be one-back is really cool.

“I’m hoping I can draw on those experiences tomorrow, I know the games there it’s just a matter of whether I’m able to deal with what’s to come mentally.”

What would it mean to win this event again tomorrow?

“Look, it’d be great. I haven’t had a whole lot of golf over the last 12-months and it’s been pretty tough for us, so to know that I’ve still got it would be really cool and to come back and do it a Muriwai would be really awesome.”

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