England's Robert Coles was a shot clear of Denmark's Thomas Nørret at the midway point of their third round at the Austrian GolfOpen presented by Lyoness.
Coles, 39, had a disappointing start at Atzenbrugg's Diamond Country Club, bogeying the par four opening hole where he picked up birdies in each of his first two rounds.
But he recovered well, picking up shots on the third and eighth to get in the red for the day and eight under overall.
Nørret, in contrast, made early headway with a birdie on the first, but dropped a shot at the eighth after a wild tee shot to be level par for his third round at the turn and a shot adrift of Coles.
The pair were two of the four overnight leaders along with India's Gaganjeet Bhullar and Dutchman Joost Luiten, who both fell off the pace.
Englishman Kenneth Ferrie, meanwhile, was on course for his best round of the week after a run of five birdies in seven holes put him four under for the day through 14 holes - two shots behind Coles.
He was joint third on six under along with compatriot Simon Wakefield (one under through ten) and Sweden's Christian Nilsson (three under through 12).