Thomas Nørret birdied the first at Diamond Country Club to lead the Austrian GolfOpen presented by Lyoness.
The Danish Qualifying School graduate led overnight with Gaganjeet Bhullar, Robert Coles and Joost Luiten but all three dropped a shot at the first to leave the 37 year old two strokes clear.
It was a big weekend for Nørret, who at 173rd on The Race to Dubai needs a big finish to the season to retain his card for next year.
A win would obviously take care of any exemption worries, although Nørret has never won a European Tour title and his only Challenge Tour victory came nine years ago.
Coles was alone in second as Luiten bogeyed the second and Bhullar - another well outside the top 115 on The Race to Dubai – double bogeyed the same hole.
Scotland’s Alastair Forsyth was four under at the turn and up to five under and a share of third, along with Luiten, Australian Daniel Gaunt and first-round leader Liam Bond.