Shane Lowry (Getty Images)
Shane Lowry was the man to catch as the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship reached its closing stages at St Andrews.
On a rollercoaster day at The Home of Golf, France’s Thomas Levet had birdied his first five holes to race clear as overnight leader Peter Uihlein stumbled.
But it was Ireland’s Lowry, who started for home with consecutive twos, who led the way on 24 under par with six holes remaining.
Lowry, who defends his Portugal Masters title in a fortnight’s time, was six under par for his round thanks to an eagle at the par four tenth and four birdies.
He was one ahead of England’s David Howell, who had five birdies in six holes from the second as he chases a first European Tour win for seven years.
Uihlein and former amateur star Tom Lewis were tied for third on 22 under, with a double bogey at the 14th seeing Levet drop into a tie for sixth.
Lowry's lead was briefly two shots when Howell three-putted the 12th, but Lowry then bogeyed the 13th in the group ahead after failing to get up and down from short of the green.
That meant Lewis was just one shot off the lead at 22 under and the 22 year old had the chance to set a testing clubhouse target with just two holes to play.
Lewis duly parred the last two holes to complete a flawless 64 and set the clubhouse target at 22 under - a superb effort which should at least secure his card for next season even if not enough to win the event.
A bogey from Lowry on the 15th - where he missed from inside three feet after an excellent chip from short of the green - left Uihlein out in front on 23 under with four holes to play.
A crowded leaderboard had always offered the chance of a play-off and that possibility drew closer when Howell fired a superb five iron approach to three feet on the 15th to set up a birdie.
That took the former Ryder Cup star to 23 under and a share of the lead with Uihlein, who had seen his birdie attempt on the 14th catch the edge of the hole and stay out.