Robert MacIntyre was man to catch at the top of a congested leaderboard as the final round of the Porsche European Open headed towards a gripping climax.
MacIntyre and playing partner Bernd Ritthammer started the day at nine under par, one shot ahead of Paul Casey, but it was the Scot who nudged ahead in ideal conditions at Green Eagle Golf Courses.
The 23-year-old started Saturday morning with a four shot advantage, but eight players were within that mark as MacIntyre led the pack on 12 under par.
Ritthammer and Casey were one shot behind, while Italian Guido Migliozzi, Austria’s Matthias Schwab and Swede Niklas Lemke were at nine under in a birdie frenzy in Hamburg.
MacIntyre made only one during the third round but matched that tally at the opening hole when he dialled his approach to six feet to nudge ahead on his own at ten under.
The Scot parred the next four but was desperately unlucky to not birdie each hole - including a shoehorn at the fifth - however, it was Ritthammer who joined him at the top with a gain from six feet at the fifth.
Casey produced a fine tee shot at the second to card his first birdie of the round and when rolled in a eight foot putt at the sixth following a great approach, he made it a three way tie at the top.
The Englishman then took solo lead after another arrow from the eighth tee to record his third birdie, but he was alone for just a matter of minutes as MacIntyre dialled in to six foot at the seventh to move to 11 under.
Casey made a fine par save at the first par five of the round - the ninth - after sending his tee in the sand but there were no such trouble for the final pair.
Despite finding the rough with his first, Ritthammer landed his third shot to two feet for a tap in birdie to join Casey at 11 under, but MacIntyre rolled in his third gain to take the outright lead heading down the final nine holes.
Migliozzi turned in for 30 as he made a charge up the field with four birdies, while Lemke was blemish free through 12 holes after picking up five shots. Schwab mixed three gains and one bogey after 10 holes to sit at nine under par
Bernd Wiesberger, who is second on the Race to Dubai Ranking presented by Rolex, flew up the leaderboard after four successive birdies from the eighth to move into contention at eight under.