Colin Montgomerie matched his lowest round of the year at Le Golf National in Paris to move into the top ten at the Open de France ALSTOM.
The Ryder Cup Captain produced a six under par 65 in the third round to jump 54 places, and his feat was matched by big-hitting Spaniard Alvaro Quiros on another glorious day in the French capital.
Quiros - The European Tour’s longest hitter - produced seven birdies and just a solitary dropped shot at the tenth .
Montgomerie did not expect to make the cut after a closing triple bogey seven in the second round had dropped him to one over.
He survived by the skin of his teeth, however, and on his return to the course on which he was runner-up last year - his last top ten finish - he sank a 97 yard pitch to the sixth for an eagle two and grabbed four birdies.
Best of those was a 204 yard four iron to within a few inches of the flag on the difficult 17th, and that reminded the 46 year old of his prime.
"That's what I used to do. I've been making far too many mistakes - there were a load of crazy ones yesterday - and it starts with hitting fairways.
"If I do that I can play to my strength, my iron play. This was a very important round for me, and I've just got to keep at it hoping it will come back one day. That seven killed things off here. I've now got to move up as high as I can - I don't need the money, but I need the points."
At five under par after 54 holes, he and Quiros held the early clubhouse lead. But overnight pacesetter Rafa Echenique - two clear of England's Steve Webster, South African Charl Schwartzel and German Martin Kaymer at halfway - had not even teed off again.