England's Carl Mason was stung by a wasp but recovered to card an eight under par 64 and move into a share of the lead after the third round of the De Vere PGA Seniors Championship at De Vere Carden Park in Cheshire.
Mason recorded four birdies and two eagles to go into the final round level with Nick Job and Bill Logmuir on 12 under par 204 and with a great chance to make amends for his defeat by Tom Watson at last week's Senior British Open, presented by MasterCard at the Westin Turnberry Resort.
The Englishman was stung by a wasp as he walked to the fourth tee but that did not stop him putting together the best round he has played since joining the Seniors circuit last month. He started the round with a ten foot putt for an eagle on the 487 yard opening hole and then added birdies at the fifth, tenth and 13th before registering his second eagle of the day at the 528 yard 14th.
Large crowds flocked to watch the end of the former Scottish Open champion's round and he did not disappoint with his fourth birdie of the day at the 171 yard par three 17th hole where he hit a seven iron to within 12 inches of the hole.
"That was a great round of golf and just what I needed after starting five shot behind the leaders," said Mason. "I knew I needed to be aggressive. I wanted some birdies early on and once I got them it all started to feel quite simple."
"I've got to admit I still feel exhausted after everything that happened last week," he added. "It took me a while to come to terms to losing out to Watson but now that I have I am confident I can keep playing well.
"I'm looking forward to tomorrow."
Mason went on to say that it was not the first time that he had been stung on the fourth tee at a major Championship.
"The last time was at the Volvo Masters back in the late 1980s or early 1990s and it turnd out to be rather serious," he said. "By the time I reached the green my leg had swollen up so much there was no way I could continue. God knows what caused it but I had to get antibiotics to get the swelling down."
Mason has already won more than £142,000 in three starts on the Seniors Tour and would increase his lead over Longmuir if he won the £33,300 first prize at this week's event.
Longmuir looked all set to take a one shot lead into the last round but then inexplicably missed a tiddler from 12 inches at the last to drop back from 13 to 12 under par.
"That just about sums up the round," said the man who won the lucrative Wales Seniors Open a little more than a month ago. "I hit a lot of good shots but some terrible ones as well. I can't believe how inconsistent I was and will have to sort it out for tomorrow."
The Scotman's card illustrated just how mixed the round was. He did record two eagles and six birdies but could do no better than a two under par 69 after carding seven bogeys as well.
Nick Job's 69 was a much more steady round. He opened with nine straight pars to go out in 36 and then moved up a gear with birdies at the tenth, 12th, 13th and 14th before dropping his only shot of the day on the 171 yard par three 17th
"It was a solid round of golf," said Job. "I was a bit miffed early on because I missed a couple of chances but I can't complain coming home."
Job, Longmuir and Mason go into the final round two shots ahead of America's David Oakley and Ireland's Denis O'Sullivan who carded rounds of 67 and 70.
New Zealand's Simon Owen started the day in a share of 35th place but carded a 64 to move up into a tie for sixth place with Denis Durnian, Terry Gale and Alan Mew on nine under par 207.
Owen began his round with an eagle on the 487 yard par five first and then carded birdies on the third, fifth, tenth, 11th, 14th and 15th to tie the low round of the tournament set 24 hours earlier by America's Dick McLean.
That's a pretty card," said the man who finished second behind Jack Nicklaus at the 1978 Open Championship at St Andrews. "It was all fours and threes.
"I hit 18 greens in regulation out there and any day you do that you know you are playing well."
America’s John Brott carded a 68 to share tenth place with England’s Ian Mosey on eight under par 208 while Maurice Bembridge carded his second successive 67 to move into a tie for 12th place with John Chillas, Hisao Inoue, John Morgan and Paul Parajeckas.
England’s Tommy Horton carded a fine four under par 68 to go into the final round with a six shot lead in the race for the Hardys Wines Super Seniors prize awarded to the leading competitor aged 60 or over.
Horton’s nearest rival in this category is America’s Jay Dolan 111 who carded a level par 72 for a three round total of 216.