Dylan Frittelli took a four-shot lead into the final nine holes of the 2017 Volvo China Open as he went in search of a first European Tour title at Topwin Golf and Country Club.
The South African had shot 63-64 on Friday and Saturday to establish a three-shot advantage and while he turned in level par 36 to stay at 19 under on day four, that was good enough to stretch his lead.
Closest challenger Pablo Larrazábal dropped a shot on the front nine to lose ground, while Alexander Levy and Chris Wood both moved to 14 under.
YE Yang, the 2010 champion, was then a further shot back as the chasing pack closed in but most of the contenders looked to be running out of holes as Challenge Tour graduate Frittelli kept his cool on the outward nine.
Larrazábal hit a huge drive down the first but, after three-putting twice on Saturday, he did it again and Frittelli's lead was quickly extended to four shots.
The 33 year old then failed to get up and down from a greenside bunker on the par three second and a par-par-par start proved good enough to have Frittelli five ahead.
The leader had played the first four holes in textbook fashion but a putt from the fringe on the fifth almost rolled back to his feet and he dropped a first shot in 44 holes.
A recovery came quickly, however, with Frittelli putting his approach to the seventh to two feet and moving back to 19 under.
Larrazábal hit a stunning second into the par five eighth and while he had to settle for a birdie, Frittelli could only make par after failing to get up and down from the sand.
Levy and Wood both made steady starts before the Frenchman went birdie-bogey-birdie from the sixth and Wood birdied the seventh and eighth. Both men then hit stunning approaches to tap-in range on the ninth and they were creeping up on the leader.
Yang picked up five shots in his first 15 holes to sit a shot clear of Ross Fisher and Bernd Wiesberger, who were in the early stages of their back nines.
Mike Lorenzo-Vera, whose best European Tour finish was a tie for second at this event in 2008, fired a 67 to set the clubhouse target at 11 under.
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