Mikko Korhonen has taken charge of the Shot Clock Masters after a third round of 68 took him to 13 under par.
The Finn is five shots clear of South Africa’s Justin Walters ahead of the final round, with a large group of eight players on seven under, six shots behind the leader.
While Korhonen is in pole position to claim his first European Tour title, the third round was also the first time players fell foul of time violations at the new event.
Shot Clock Masters
This week’s tournament is the first in professional golf to time each shot, and the players have 50 seconds to take their shot if they are first to play, including tee-shots on par-threes, or 40 seconds for tee-shots on other holes or when second or third to play.
The first two days went by without a single time violation but there were three on Saturday, with Clemens Prader, Grant Forrest and Andrea Pavan all handed one-stroke penalties.
Meanwhile, the 37-year-old Korhonen produced a sparkling 68 on Saturday to stay bogey-free for the tournament so far.
Having led by a shot at halfway, Korhonen reached the turn in 33, after following up birdies at the first and third with another from six feet at the ninth.
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The Finn then made it back-to-back gains with a birdie at the 10th to get to 13 under, before safely parring the remaining eight holes.
Korhonen told Sky Sports: “I always love to come here and it seems to be working well this year.
“I’m going to stick to the plan and execute it the best I can, so let’s see.”
Walters is his nearest challenger but could only manage a level-par round of 72 after carding one birdie and a single bogey on day three.
Englishman David Horsey (68), Scotland’s Connor Syme (69) and veteran Spaniard Miguel Angel Jimenez (72) were among the large group in a tie for third on seven under.
Australian Adam Bland is also in the group after he and Lee Slattery (one shot further back on six under) tied for the best rounds of the day with a pair of 66s.