Gary Boyd was a single shot ahead of Italian teenager Matteo Manassero with nine holes of the CASTELLÓ MASTERS Costa Azahar remaining.
The 24 year old Challenge Tour graduate, who has recorded three top-ten finishes in his last six starts, is looking to complete a maiden European Tour win in his rookie season while Manassero would become the youngest winner in European Tour history with victory at Club de Campo del Mediterráneo.
Boyd led by two entering the final round and started well when he hit his approach at the third to three feet, only to see Manassero respond with a 12 foot birdie putt of his own.
Manassero then fired in a 40 foot birdie putt at sixth to half the deficit only to hand the shot back at the next with a bogey.
But Boyd dropped a shot at the eighth after snap-hooking his drive way left before making a good up and down at the ninth to retain his slender lead.
Boyd's roommate John Parry looked intent on preventing it becoming a two-horse race and with four birdies and a single bogey in his first ten holes moved into third on 12 under.
Austria's Martin Wiegele, Ireland's Peter Lawrie, Spain's Carl Suneson and Dutchman Joost Luiten were all on 11 under but quickly running out of holes with which to challenge the leaders.
It was all change midway through the back nine. First, Manassero birdied the 14th from three feet to draw level on 15 under with four to play.
At the next Boyd’s approach came up short of the green after his tee shot found sand right of the fairway.
He hit his third to 15 feet and two-putted for bogey, while Manassero was within 20 feet and holed his birdie putt.