Swede Kristoffer Broberg cemented his position at the top of the leaderboard with a superb five under par 66 in the third round of the Finnish Challenge at Kytäjä Golf.
Playing only his second Challenge Tour event, the 26 year old posted seven birdies and two bogeys to reach 12 under overall and open up a four-stroke advantage over American Peter Uihlein, the former world amateur number one, and Dutchman Wil Besseling.
Three players – Chilean Mark Tullo, Scotsman Scott Henry and Australian Andrew Tampion - are another shot back at seven under, while it was a productive day for Englishman Nick Dougherty, whose 66 took him to six under.
Broberg made a fine start with four consecutive birdies from the second hole and another at the eighth, and after two bogeys early on the back nine, he picked up two more shots at the 15th and 18th holes.
“I played really well again today, especially on the front nine,” said the Stockholm player. “My putting was particularly good, so hopefully that continues tomorrow.
“I played twice here in Finland this month in preparation for this tournament, at other courses. I wanted to get a feel for it and do some good preparation, and it looks like it is paying off.
“I will be pretty nervous tomorrow, even with a big lead, because that can go very quickly. I prefer it to be very close, because there’s less pressure, but I’ll just try to keep playing the same way and I believe I can win.”
Besseling was one over at the turn, but three birdies in a row on the back nine resulted in a two under par 69 which kept him in touch with his rival.
“It wasn’t as easy as the first couple of days,” he said. “I didn’t play as well, but I kept it together and managed to make a bit of progress on the back nine with three birdies and no bogeys.
“Kristoffer played very well, but hopefully I can get back to my best tomorrow and catch him. He was five under on the front nine and I was one over, and it didn’t look good at that point, but I managed to pull it back a bit.
“I will wait and see what happens in the first few holes tomorrow before deciding whether to play aggressively or not. You never know what’s going to happen in this game.”
Henry claims his improved form is testament to a putting lesson from fellow Scot Gavin Dear, and he was delighted a 67 kept him in contention for his first Challenge Tour title despite bogeying two of the last three holes.
“Gavin is a very good putter and on Thursday I went to him for advice,” said the 25 year old. “He totally changed the way I was putting. Yesterday I didn’t even hit it well, but I scored five under because my putting was awesome.
“There were quite a few things he told me to change with the putter. It was nothing too technical, more just the way I thought about it.”
Henry jokingly added: “I bought Gavin his dinner last night, but if I keep putting as well as this I might have to sort him out with a fee. I went from my worst putting performance as a professional on day one to the best on day two. He really helped me so I’m very grateful.
“I’m excited about tomorrow. I feel very comfortable and I’m much more confident now I’m holing some putts. It’s great to be in the mix tomorrow and I’ll just try to enjoy it.”