Italy’s Marco Crespi turned in a four under par 32 to hold a three shot lead going into the closing stretch of the NH Collection Open.
The 35 year old, who came through Qualifying School at the 11th attempt in November and is playing only his 25th European Tour event, birdied the first to join overnight leader Matthew Nixon.
Scotland’s Richie Ramsay birdied the first four holes of his final round to move into a share of the lead, but Crespi had further gains at the fifth, eighth and ninth to surge clear at La Reserva de Sotogrande Club de Golf.
Crespi’s best European Tour finish to date came when he was fourth at the South African Open, but at 11 under par he was three clear of Ramsay and Chile’s Felipe Aguilar heading for home.
Nixon and home favourite Adrian Otaegui were a shot further back on seven under.
Crespi dropped shots at the 12th and 13th but another birdie at the 14th put the two-time Challenge Tour winner two clear.
Spain’s Jordi Garcia Pinto birdied four of his last five holes to set the clubhouse target at eight under par with a round of 66, and he was joined in second by Ramsay and Aguilar.