Eduardo De La Riva needed just two holes to turn a one shot deficit into a one stroke lead as the third round of the Bankia Madrid Masters began at El Encin Golf Hotel.
The 29 year old Spaniard, making only his second European Tour appearance of the year, birdied the first and second to advance to 12 under par in the Spanish capital.
With halfway leader Lee Slattery starting with consecutive pars, De La Riva was out on his own in front as the former amateur star looks to reignite his career.
The Barcelona golfer earned a European Tour card via Qualifying School in 2002, but lost it a year later and nine years on is still to finish in the top ten at a European Tour event.
Italian Ryder Cup star Francesco Molinari joined De La Riva in birdieing the first but bogeyed the next to be two behind on ten under, alongside compatriot Lorenzo Gagli.
De La Riva was not the only player giving the home fans something to cheer, Alvaro Quiros moved into the top ten as he played his first seven holes in three under.
The big-hitter is returning from a wrist injury but four birdies with a single bogey propelled the World Number 41 into a share of seventh on seven under.
World Number One and defending champion Luke Donald was alongside Quiros after birdies at the fourth and fifth.
Italian 25 year old Gagli has come of age this season with four top-five finishes and when he followed a birdie at the third with an eagle at the next and another gain at the sixth he was two clear as De La Riva bogeyed the fifth.