Britain’s Mark Foster held his nerve to birdie the 18th on Saturday and ensure he will go into the final round of the Johnnie Walker Championship pegged at the top of the leader board with Spaniard Ignacio Garrido.
They hold a three-stroke lead over the chasing pack of five, which includes Denmark’s Thomas Bjorn, winner this year of the Qatar Masters and Spaniard Pablo Larrazabal.
Foster, the first-round leader, went into the third round one shot behind Garrido. A birdie on the par-5 second was followed by an eagle at the ninth as the 36-year-old Englishman, looking for only his second win on the European tour, went out in 33.
A bogey at the 11th checked his progress, but two further birdies gave him a round of 68 and a 54-hole total of 205.
Garrido, 39, also enjoyed a fruitful front nine shelling three birdies as he also turned in 33. Like Foster, he dropped a shot at the awkward 11th as well as the 15th, but birdies at 14 and 16 gave him a round of 68 and an excellent chance of landing his first title since 2003.
Foster and Garrido hold a three-stroke advantage over Bjorn, Larrazabal, Austrian Bernd Wiesberger, Anthony Kang of the US and Ireland’s Peter Lawrie.
The best rounds of the day came from Scotsman Stephen Gallacher and South Africa’s George Coetzee, who both went round in 67.