Paul Lawrie (Getty Images)
Paul Lawrie claimed the outright lead in the Omega European Masters to enhance his hopes of recording a second successive win.
However, the Ryder Cup star faced a battle to retain top spot as a host of players remained in close contention on day three at Crans-sur-Sierre.
Lawrie, who claimed victory in the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles last week, turned in 31 with the aid of an opening eagle and four birdies.
At 11 under, he was one clear of fellow countryman Richie Ramsay and Australia’s Marcus Fraser, with overnight leader Julien Quesne and English duo Danny Willett and David Howell a further stroke behind.
Howell, six under overnight, also eagled the first and birdied the fifth and seventh before registering a first bogey at nine.
Mathias Gronberg - the winner of this event way back in 1995 - was another to reach nine under, with the aid of a three at the par five 14th. A bogey at 15 saw him slip back into a tie for seventh, but he was still five under for the day.