Bernd Wiesberger will take a three-shot lead into the final round of the Shenzhen International after a roller coaster day at Genzon Golf Club.
The Austrian entered round three with a four-shot advantage but quickly saw that wiped out by Grégory Bourdy, who joined Mikko Korhonen in making a hole-in-one on Saturday.
A strong finish from the three-time European Tour winner, however, saw him sign for a 69 and a 15 under par total.
South African Dylan Frittelli emerged as his nearest challenger after a 68 with a birdie-birdie finish and they will be the final pair on Sunday.
Frittelli's countrymen Dean Burmester and George Coetzee were then at 11 under alongside England's Ross Fisher and American David Lipsky.
Wiesberger has been in a remarkable run of form the last eight months, having not missed a cut since the US PGA Championship with seven top five finishes.
When he slipped to one over for his round after six holes with those around him making birdies, he looked in danger of fading away but battled back admirably.
"I didn’t start off really well," he said. "I hit a couple of crooked shots and left a couple of putts out there but then from when I holed the putt on seven I felt more comfortable out there and was rolling the ball a bit better.
"I was in a similar position a couple of weeks ago in Malaysia and had a sloppier day, so I’m happy with the way I bounced back and to shoot three under par is a decent score today.
"The guys were coming at me hard early on today as well so I’m expecting no less for tomorrow, so I’m just trying to commit to my shots and enjoy it out there."
Bourdy birdied the second after getting up and down from a bunker and when his tee-shot on the third took two bounces and rolled into the middle of the cup for the second hole-in-one of the day - and 13th of the season - the lead was down to one.
Wiesberger bogeyed the fifth after failing to find the green in two and after dropping a shot on the same hole, some dialled-in iron play led to Bourdy birdies on the sixth and seventh and a change in the lead.
The guys were coming at me hard early on today as well so I’m expecting no less for tomorrow - Bernd Wiesberger
The overnight leader soon regained top spot - a position he would not relinquish again - with a birdie on the seventh as Bourdy dropped a shot on the eighth.
Wiesberger then took advantage of the par five ninth and 13th, the latter after an excellent chip, and while he three-putted the 14th, a seven-foot putt on the 15th got him back to 14 under.
Bourdy holed a monster putt on the 11th for a birdie but when he found the bank on the 14th to record a double-bogey, he fell back.
Wiesberger then made it four out of four on the par fives at the 17th to restore his four-shot advantage.
Frittelli's big finish then cut the advantage back to three as he added to his gains at the second, ninth and 13th in a third consecutive 68.
Coetzee went one better with a birdie-birdie-birdie finish in his 67, while Lipsky turned in 36 but then made five birdies on the back nine as he recorded the same score.
Burmester made six birdies and two bogeys in his 68, with Fisher recording a single blemish in his 69.
Course-specialist Alexander Levy, a victor here in 2014 at the Volvo China Open, recorded the round of the week so far with a 64 to sit alongside fellow Frenchman Bourdy, local favourite Liu Yan-Wei and American Bubba Watson.
Earlier, Korhonen had made his ace on the 16th in the second round with a four-iron from 220 yards to win a BYD Tang 100 SUV.