Benn Barham shot a superb seven under par round of 65 to take the clubhouse lead at 14 under par at the Inteco Russian Open Golf Championship.
Barham, vying for his first title on The European Tour, came into the third round on seven under par and down in a tie for 14th place, but quickly turned the tables.
He fired an eagle three on the second before shooting birdies at the third, sixth and eighth to reach the turn in 31.
Further strokes were collected at the 13th and 15th to complete a bogey-free round for the Englishman, leaving him a shot clear of Darren Fichardt, who got off to an even better start.
The South African equalled the lowest score for the front nine when he went out in 30 – Lloyd Saltman managed the same score en route to a 66 earlier in the day – but only managed par on the back nine.
Earlier in his round it seemed the score would be substantially lower than 66. He picked up birdies on each of the first four holes and then added another two at the sixth and seventh.
Unfortunately for him – and those who expected to see the course record of 62 broken – his only joy on the back nine came at the par four 14th before he bogeyed the last to sit 13 under par.
Saltman of Scotland is third in the clubhouse on 11 under par, while Alessandro Tadini is fourth a stroke further back after a 68.
Stephen Gallacher shot 66 to sit nine under and Guido Van Der Valk shot a superb 65 to join him.
On the course, Mikael Lundberg is setting the pace at 15 under par, but Michiel Bothma is just a shot further back after 15 holes.
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