KIWI IN COMMAND
By ADAM HICKS
NEW ZEALANDER Craig Owen will take a four-stoke lead into today's final round of the 2007 MediDrain Australian PGA Senior Championship at Byron Bay Golf Club.
One of four first-round leaders, Owen backed up his opening round 69 with a four-under-par 68 to go seven under for the tournament.
On a day when only five players shot sub-par rounds, Owen's round one co-leaders failed to keep pace as he cruised through the back nine without dropping a shot.
Trevor McDonald shot a 72 to remain at three under, and is tied in second place with another Kiwi, Stuart Reese, who shot a two-under 70.
Garry Merrick slipped from equal first to sixth with a two-over 74, six shots behind Owen, while David Armstrong dropped out of contention with a 10-over 82.
Crowd favourite Rodger Davis hit an even par round to remain in contention, but is five shots off the pace.
A feature of Owen's round was landing birdies on three of the course' par threes, and failing to capitalise on the par fives with three pars and a bogey.
The Westown Golf Club professional said he was happy with his play.
"It's unusual these days to be three under on the threes and over par on the fives," he said.
"But it's nice to be in this position taking a four-stroke lead into the final round of such a prestigious championship," he said.
Owen will be hoping to add the tournament to wins at the Tasmanian and Queensland championships.
The championship concludes today at the Byron Bay Golf Club.
Tee times will be from 9-11am, with the leading group to tee-off at approx 11am.