Retief Goosen remained on course for a wire-to-wire victory at the BMW International Open at Golfclub München Eichenried, but veteran Bernhard Langer is hot on his heels.
Goosen, who has led since his opening 64 in the first round, shot 67 for a two stroke advantage, but should have been even further in front.
He missed a putt of barely a foot on the long sixth and drove into water for a closing bogey six, but was still in good spirits as seven birdies kept him clear of the field.
“It's always nice going into a tournament with the lead,” he said. “Especially the final round, I'm very much looking forward to tomorrow, so far we've been lucky with the weather. We are finishing on the same day we start which is nice. I'm looking forward to get off to a good round, good start again.
“I hit the ball - it was a foot putt. The ball just jumped out right on me and didn't even touch the hole. It obviously was in a footprint or in the corner of a footprint when I hit it, it was a shock.”
Langer's 16th attempt to become the oldest winner in European Tour history might just be the one when he finally does it.
The 51 year old German goes into the final round in Munich - not far from where he grew up - in second place, only two behind South African star Goosen.
If he does go on to take the 75th victory of his professional career Langer will look back on the 16th hole of his third round as a key moment.
After driving into the trees on the reachable par four, the double Masters Tournament champion, five times a runner-up in this event without ever winning it, chipped far too strongly but then sank a birdie putt of around 70 feet.
Playing his first event in Europe for over nine months Langer, now the leading money-winner on the US Champions Tour, had seven birdies in all for a 65 that took him onto the 15 under par mark of 201.
The age record he is trying to break is that of Ireland's Des Smyth, who was 48 when he captured the 2001 Madeira Islands Open.
This is the one Tour event in his home country that Langer has never won, but only two years ago he was second to Swede Niclas Fasth - and that after starting with a 76 and surviving the halfway cut with nothing to spare.
"This is as close as I could get to winning at home and it would mean a lot," he said. "It would also be very special with my son Stefan on my bag. We have only one more tournament together before he goes off to college.
"I'm at a stage where I just want to enjoy my golf. I don't want to grind any more and I don't have anything to prove - I've been very blessed."
England's Nick Dougherty was another to find problems from the 18th tee - it has troubled him all week - and by also taking six fell into a tie for third on 14 under with Scotland’s David Drysdale.
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