Marc Warren made two birdies in his opening three holes to get to 13 under and open up a one-shot lead in the third round of the Portugal Masters at Dom Pedro Victoria Golf Course.
Italian Nino Bertasio was one shot behind alongside Dane Lucas Bjerregaard, with Irishman Shane Lowry and Spaniard Nacho Elvira at 11 under.
Warren has made just two of his last 12 cuts with a best finish in 2017 of tied 14th at the Made In Denmark but he has three European Tour wins so is comfortable when in the mix on the weekend.
A stunning approach to five feet for an opening birdie was evidence of that and he was in a share of the lead.
Graeme Storm had opened with a birdie and when he rolled in an eight-footer on the fourth, he was just a shot behind alongside Bjerregaard who did well to save par after a ragged opening tee-shot.
That was soon two back, however, when Warren rolled in from seven feet on the second to get to 13 under.
Lowry made back-to-back birdies on the third and fourth and Elvira did the same at the fourth and fifth after also birdieing the second, with that duo moving into the group at 11 under.
A poor putt from Storm on the fifth saw him drop a first shot of the day but Bjerregaard was heading in the other direction with a brilliant approach to the third helping him to 12 under.
Storm was in the group at ten under alongside fellow Englishman Eddie Pepperell, South African George Coetzee, Belgian Thomas Detry, Dutchman Joost Luiten and clubhouse leaders Nicolas Colsaerts and Sebastian Soderberg, who both signed for rounds of 64.
Belgian Colsaerts had a putt for a 59 here in the first round in 2014 and he used all his local knowledge in carding eight birdies and a bogey.
"I basically converted the chances that came my way," he said. "I parred all of the par fives though, so I could have gone a bit lower, I think I had a pretty low one in me today.
"Just to get back somewhere a little bit closer was important. I'll try to do the same thing tomorrow. We all know that if you give yourself chances and you putt well here, there are always going to be seven, eight, if not nine unders every day."
Swede Soderberg is capable of going seriously low as he proved with his opening 61 at the The Rocco Forte Open - Verdura, Sicily in May and he was bogey-free on Saturday morning.
"It was a really good round, I didn't really miss anything," he said. "I felt like I drove it really well and made a lot of chances. I made a few long ones in the beginning but on the back nine over the last few holes I felt like I could have made even more on them.
"I played really well today so it feels really good to shoot a low one. It was very important for me. I made the cut on the number and if I have any chance to be up there I needed to shoot a low one today, so it feels really good."