Garth Mulroy has pinched the lead at the three-quarter mark of the BMW Italian Open presented by CartaSi, with the South African moving ahead of a trio of Spaniards on Saturday (September 15, local time).
A six-under 66 took Mulroy to a 17-under-the-card total at Royal Park I Roveri - one shot ahead of his nearest rival Gonzalo Fdez-Castano.
Mulroy’s third round featured seven birdies and just the single bogey at the par-four third hole.
Fdez-Castano fired a five-under 67 that included seven birdies, four bogeys and an eagle at the par-five eighth hole.
Compatriots Rafa Cabrera-Bello and Pablo Larrazabal both shot rounds of 65 and sit poised to strike from 15 under.
Cabrera-Bello's round was particularly impressive as he carded five birdies on a back nine charge and did not drop a stroke all day.
Six players are in a share of fifth position at 13 under including German Martin Kaymer and Belgian Nicolas Colsaerts.
No Australians made the weekend cut, with David McKenzie and Andrew Dodt finishing well back in a tie for 104th at one under the card.
It was a tough tournament for Matthew Zions, who was eliminated after rounds of 74 and 76.