That took him one clear of Pepperell – who was seeking a maiden win on The European Tour – and Scotland’s Stephen Gallacher, who recorded a birdie at the long first.Thailand’s Thongchai Jaidee, France’s Victor Dubuisson and Spain’s Alvaro Quiros were all two shots off the pace on 12 under as an exciting finish loomed for the packed galleries.
Pepperell drew level with a ten foot birdie at the third, but Stenson, looking to win on home soil for the first time having twice been a runner-up in this event, then surged clear with consecutive gains.
The 38 year old hit his tee shot to six feet at the fourth before holing from 25 feet at the next.
At 16 under he was two clear of Pepperell and Gallacher, whilst Stenson’s friend and compatriot Robert Karlsson was compiling a remarkable run to sit level with Dubuisson in fourth.
The 2008 European Number One was nine under par for the day through 16 holes, having carded seven birdies and an eagle on the long 11th.