Gustavo Rojas still leads at halfway in the Challenge Tour Grand Final but his lead has been cut to a single shot after the wind and rain hit the Golf du Medoc course near Bordeaux.
The 35 year old Argentinean looked as if he would be sharing top spot with England's David Dixon, his playing partner, when his missed the final green. But he got up-and-down magnificently to save his par.
Rojas posted a level par 71 for 136, six under par, a shot ahead of Dixon, who returned 70, and Julien Van Hauwe with 65, secured before the weather closed in.
The day began warm and quiet, but soon after Dixon, Rojas and Iain Pyman teed off in the final group the weather got gradually worse, sending most scores rocketing.
Rojas led by two at the start and extended that to four over Dixon by the turn. However, the Somerset man put his foot down on the back nine to run in three birdies and get to seven under and tie Rojas, who lost momentum.
They both bogeyed the short 17th at the height of the tempest but Dixon was bunkered at the last and missed from eight feet for bogey, while Rojas, who missed the green with his approach, manufactured a superb chip to save his par.
"I was going well until the last two holes but Gustavo hit a majestic chip to save his par," said Dixon, who must win to secure a European Tour card. "We really caught the bad weather over the back nine and it was a battle. The greens were already soft but they got even softer towards the end. But I'm still in with a chance and hopefully the weather will clear up for tomorrow."
Van Hauwe, coming off of an 18 under par victory on the Alps Tour and eighth place in Holland last week when he finished 14 under, made his score with an eagle at the tenth and a run of four successive birdies from the 14th.
"The eagle gave me a boost," he said modestly. "I am in good form and it's always nice to shoot low. I'm hoping for two more of those in the next two days."
Irishman Peter Lawrie lies fourth on 138 after a 67 secured partly in the rain. “That was a good score in the conditions and it’s put me back in the race,” he said.
Another Englishman, Simon Wakefield also signed for an early 65 that contained an eagle and five birdies to lie equal fifth on 139 with Scott Kammann from the United States, who shot 67, and Sweden's Fredrik Widmark with 70.
Spain’s Jesus Maria Arruti ran in five birdies to catch Rojas, but when the rains came it took its toll and he made a rapid descent with six bogeys in the last eight holes for a 73 and 140.
On the same score in joint eighth place is Italy’s Massimo Florioli, also with 73, Ilya Goroneskoul of France with 69, Simon Hurd, after a 68, and fellow Englishman Denny Lucas with 70.
The top three on the ranking also suffered. Top-placed Lee James returned 73 for 145, the same as third-placed Matthew Blackey with 72, while Jean-Francois Lucquin of France, who must win or finish runner-up to overhaul James, is on 144 after a 76.
But it was Pyman who suffered most. After starting two off the pace, he returned 79 to drop back near the end of the field on 146.