Kurt Kitayama (Getty Images)
Kurt Kitayama remained in front as he reached the turn on day three of the Afrasia Bank Mauritius Open at Anahita but he had in-form Justin Harding breathing down his neck.
American Kitayama came into day three with a two-stroke lead after posting sensational 65s on Thursday and Friday.
The Qualifying School graduate had increased that advantage to four shots after picking up birdies at the long second and fourth holes on Saturday to get to 16 under par.
But South African Harding pegged him back after notching six birdies and no bogeys in his first 11 holes to get within two shots of the leader.
Kitayama showed his fighting spirit on the front nine, producing a series of stunning saves to keep his card clean and remain in control.
Harding reeled off a hat-trick of birdies at the second, third and fourth before making further gains on the sixth and eighth holes to jump into contention.
The 32 year old, who is ranked first on the Sunshine Tour's Order of Merit, then rolled in his 15-foot birdie putt at the 11th to get to 14 under.
S Chikkarangappa, Matthieu Pavon and Masahiro Kawamura were another shot back on 13 under.