Howison leads after three rounds in New Zealand

CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand -- Ryan Howison shot a 2-under 70 to reclaim the lead in the third round of the New Zealand PGA Championship on Saturday.

Howison led after a first-round 65 but dropped briefly behind the leaders after the second round, which continued Saturday after being halted Friday by rain.

His 210 is a stroke ahead of Australian James Nitties (72) and two up on a group including Americans Nicholas Thompson (70), Lee Williamson (73) and Sal Spallone (75), Canadian David Morland IV (70), Australian Peter Senior (75) and New Zealander Mark Brown, who leapt into contention with a 66.

Brown had the lowest round on a windy, high-scoring day and climbed up the leaderboard after being three over par after two rounds.

His unblemished scorecard in the third round included three birdies on each of the back and front nines, a considerable feat as winds of up to 25 mph scoured the par 72, 7,122-yard Clearwater Resort. The day saw only eight sub-par rounds.

The tournament is sanctioned by the Australasian PGA and U.S. Nationwide Tours.