Spaniard Jorge Campillo will take one shot lead into the last round of the Acaya Open in Italy after carding an impressive three under par 67.
The 25 year old reached five under for the tournament, just ahead of Florian Praegant of Austria, who also had a 67, and two shots in front of Frenchman Victor Riu (66) and Englishman Jamie Moul (71).
South African Branden Grace and Argentina’s Daniel Vanscik are a further two shots behind at one under.
Campillo had a flawless front nine which featured four birdies, but found it tougher going on the way back, posting three bogeys and two birdies.
“It’s the position you want to be in,” said Campillo, whose best finish on the Challenge Tour to date is tied fifth. “I’m playing very well and I’m very happy with 67. If I can do the same tomorrow and beat the golf course, I’ll be happy.
“The front nine was excellent – I hardly missed a shot and had no bogeys. But then I hit it in the water on the 11th and 12th with my driver and actually did well to make bogeys on both of those. Near the end I managed to make two good birdies to stay in front. They could be important.
“It was disappointing to finish with a bogey – I went into the rough on the left from the tee and then couldn’t get up and down from the greenside bunker – but that’s golf. Overall the day was good.
“Hopefully I will stay calm tomorrow. I have been in the last group so I know what it’s like. I will just stick to my game and see what happens.”
Riu finished strongly with two birdies in his last three holes to move to three under for the tournament. He said: “It’s good because the beginning of the season was very bad for me. I was played very badly in all areas of my game, but I have worked very hard and practised a lot and now it is coming together. Everything went well today and I’m very happy because this score puts me in a good position. Can I win? We will see.”
Moul was the overnight leader but slipped off the pace midway through the third round, only to jump back up the leaderboard with two birdies in the last three holes.
“I was close to a hole-in-one on the 17th,” he said. “It looked like it had a chance but just missed. It was up and down again today. I started nicely but then hit some bad drives that got me in trouble. It was good to finish well though.”
Praegent added: “It’s a nice position to be in. My putting has been very good today and yesterday. The last few weeks my long game has been great but I’ve been struggling with my putting, but these three days it’s improved a lot.
“It’s a great course – not the easiest I’ve ever played but I like it very much. The heat is unbelievable and does make it difficult, but it’s the same for everyone.”
“This season has not been so great for me so it would be awesome to do well tomorrow and I’m feeling confident that I can finish strongly. I would say there’s a little more pressure being in the lead but I’m just happy to be in contention on the last day.”