Per Langfors carded a stunning 64 to take the top seeding heading into the six hole match play knockout at the ISPS Handa World Super 6 Perth.
The Swede came through all three stages of the Qualifying School in 2018 and two rounds of 71 saw him make the first cut of his European Tour career at Lake Karrinyup Country Club.
He went seven shots better in round three to get to ten under and lead the way from Ireland's Paul Dunne, Australian Brad Kennedy and Norwegian Kristoffer Reitan.
New Zealanders Ryan Fox and Gareth Paddison, Japan's Yuta Ikeda and Belgian Thomas Pieters were then at eight under, completing the top eight and securing a bye into the last 16 for the knockout stages.
England's Ben Evans, Australians Daniel Gale, Matt Jager and Min Woo Lee, Thai Jazz Janewattananond and Frenchman Clément Sordet were then at seven under.
There were 11 players at six under and they played off for the final ten spots, with Tom Murray the odd man out after double-bogeying on his second trip up the 18th.
Wade Ormsby looked to be the man heading home when he found two bunkers and a plugged lie on the first play-off hole but he made an incredible 40-foot putt for bogey to set up a head-to-head with Murray.
Grégory Bourdy, Benjamin Campbell, Steven Jeffress, Robert MacIntyre, Andrew Martin, Adrian Otaegui, Panuphol Pittayarat, Connor Syme and Scott Vincent also advanced from the play-off.
"You've just got to never give up," said Ormsby. "You never know what's going to happen. I got a filthy lie in the bunker there but anyway, it was good enough and on to tomorrow."
Langfors is playing just his sixth European Tour event in Western Australia after four seasons on the Nordic Golf League and is enjoying life on Tour.
"I played four years on Nordic League in Sweden so it's a big step to the European Tour," he said. "Obviously a big step to being in the lead as well.
"I got the Q-School status from last year so obviously a win would mean the world to me. At the moment I don't get into Rolex Series events, so obviously that would be nice.
"I'm excited for the match play. Just got to stay focused and I'm going to keep doing what I'm doing."
The 24-year-old birdied the tenth and 11th and while he bogeyed the 13th, he eagled the short par four 14th and followed that with gains on the 15th and 16th.
Another Langfors birdie on the first had him within one of the lead and he took advantage of the par five seventh before a ten-foot putt on the last got him into double-figures.
Dunne birdied the first and seventh but really came to life after the turn, making a gain on the 11th, draining a 50-footer for another on the 12th and then getting on the green at the 14th for an eagle.
He came up just short of the par five next in two blows but two putts from off the green handed him a birdie and a two shot lead at ten under before he bogeyed the 17th.
Reitan joined Langfors in coming through all three stages at the Qualifying School and he birdied the 11th, 13th, 14th and 16th with a bogey on the 12th as he turned in 33.
He started the front nine birdie-bogey but then added gains on the third, sixth, seventh and ninth for a second 65 of the week.
Kennedy holed a bunker shot for an eagle on the 14th to go with four birdies and three bogeys in a 69.
Ikeda carded a 66, Paddison signed for a 67, and co-overnight leaders Fox and Pieters both recorded level par rounds of 72.