Francesco Molinari and Marcel Siem remained at the summit of the leaderboard as the final groups approached the closing holes in the Alstom Open de France.
On another blustery day at Le Golf National near Paris, Molinari surged into a share of first place with a scarcely believable round of 64.
After starting with a double bogey to slip to two over for the tournament, the Italian carded nine birdies in a sensational display underpinned by magnificent iron play.
He came home in 29 and could feel hugely satisfied with his position as Siem prepared to take on the notoriously difficult final stretch.
“Crazy round really,” said Molinari. “I've been playing quite well all week. Today I had a really bad start, but two years ago when I finished second here, I doubled the first on the last day.
“From then on, it was just great golf. I had a couple of good breaks and finally a lot of putts going in the hole.
“It's been just an unbelievable day. I think it was one of the best that I've had in my career so far.”
Siem turned in 33 and began his back nine with three straight pars to remain alongside Molinari on seven under.
Ian Poulter was a shot behind the leading duo, but home favourite Raphaël Jacquelin followed three successive birdies from the fifth with bogeys at nine and 12 to drop back to five under.
He was joined by Henrik Stenson, a charging David Lynn and David Howell, one of the overnight leaders alongside Anders Hansen.
The latter was back on two under, having struggled from the outset today.