Romain Langasque expects "a big battle" on Sunday afternoon after firing a course-record 62 at Marco Simone Golf & Country Club on Moving Day to storm into contention at the 2023 DS Automobiles Italian Open.
Frenchman Langasque began the day seven shots back but reeled off seven birdies over the first 15 holes to wipe out his deficit.
The best was yet to come as he produced one of the shots of the day at the par-four 16th, driving the green before tapping in his eagle putt.
He closed his round with back-to-back pars to reach 11 under par and sit one shot behind third-round leader Julien Guerrier in a tie for second alongside Adrian Meronk with 18 holes remaining.
Langasque said: "I did not expect nine under, I didn't expect to shoot a very low score on this course because it's quite a tough course.
"I didn't expect that score and I am very happy about it.
"I was just trying to hit the fairway, which I didn't do in the first two rounds. After this there are a few opportunities.
"I knew when I was six under after 12 I had the 14th and 15th coming up, which are very hard holes.
"I had a good opportunity on the 14th but I was quite happy to make a four and then the same on the 15th, I had another good number from the first cut.
"I hit such a good shot and making birdie on this one was a bonus.
"That was a very good birdie and on this kind of day you have to take as many birdies as you can because it's not like this every day. So I'm really happy.
"There are so many good guys out there so I think tomorrow's going to be a big battle."