David Law matched the lowest round of his DP World Tour career as he opened up a two-shot lead heading into the weekend at the 2022 Ras Al Khaimah Championship presented by Phoenix Capital.
The Scot chipped in twice for eagle en route to a 64 that took him to 14 under at Al Hamra Golf Club, two shots ahead of Dane Nicolai Højgaard.
Spaniard Adrian Otaegui carded a course-record 63 to get to ten under, one clear of South Africans Oliver Bekker and Brandon Stone, Belgian Thomas Detry and England's Jordan Smith.
Law became a DP World Tour winner in just his fifth start after gaining his card via the European Challenge Tour, lifting the trophy at the ISPS Handa Vic Open in 2019.
The 30-year-old has added two further top tens since then and feels he is gradually improving as he plots his route back to the winner's circle.
“It’s been a while since the win," he said. "This is my fourth season on tour. I had a chance at St Andrews last year to win and I felt very comfortable again in that position.
"I feel like my golf has progressed nicely in the last three years and that’s the main aim, that’s all anyone’s trying to do - to keep improving.
“I feel like I’ve done that and it’s about giving myself opportunities. It’s not about putting pressure on myself to go and win again or anything like that. If I keep knocking on the door and giving myself chances, I’ll hopefully win one of them."
Of his eight-under-par 64, he added: “I chipped in twice for two eagles so that was picking up four shots straight away which was great. I played good.
"Yesterday was tricky, today was a little different. It was a different golf course today but I rode my luck a little, chipping in twice, but I was happy."
If I keep knocking on the door and giving myself chances, I’ll hopefully win one of them
Starting on the tenth, Law got up and down from the sand on the 13th and chipped in on the next for eagle before putting his tee-shot to three feet at the 15th and making the most of the par-five last to lead by two.
A bogey on the second saw the lead trimmed to one but he got up and down on the par-five next, played a beautiful pitch to the fifth and chipped in again at the eighth to open up a five-shot advantage.
Højgaard used his distance to drive right up near the first green and make a birdie and added a two-putt on the par-five third and a 19-footer on the next.
He bogeyed the sixth but picked the shot back up on the par-five eighth, played a stunning recovery from the waste area on the ninth and holed from 17 feet on the tenth to get into double figures.
The 20-year-old drove the 13th and then made it back-to-back two-putt birdies on the next to become the nearest challenger after a 65.
Otaegui sandwiched smart putts on the second and fifth with a pair of six-footers and added and an up-and-down at the eighth and an approach to ten feet at the ninth to turn in 30.
A 20-footer on the 13th was followed by a putt from the fringe on the 15th and when he made it 131 feet of putts for the day with a seven-footer on the 17th, the course record was his.
Smith made five birdies in seven holes from the second and also had a birdie-birdie finish in a 64, while Bekker made eight gains and a single bogey in a 65.
Stone had been ten under when he turned in 32 but had to settle for a 69, a score matched by Detry, who eagled the last along with two birdies and a bogey.
England's Marcus Armitage, German Sebastian Heisele, Scot Robert MacIntyre, Austrian Lukas Nemecz, South African Shaun Norris, Finn Tapio Pulkkanen and American Johannes Veerman were six shots off the lead.