Alvaro Quiros closed in on a long-awaited victory with a measured one-under-par third round of 70 on moving day at the Rocco Forte Open.
The Spaniard is a six-time winner on the European Tour, but has not tasted tournament success since 2011 and is without a card after struggling badly for form in recent years following an ill-advised attempt to alter his natural swing.
After shooting 63 and 64 across the first two days at Verdura Golf Club near Agrigento, he reached 16 under for the event after negotiating more challenging conditions, as the wind got up for the penultimate round on the Sicilian coast.
Quiros traded four bogeys with five birdies, having dropped just one stroke throughout the previous 36 holes.
The highlight of his round, though, came at the 18th, where he made par despite finding a gravel path well short of the green with his approach shot.
The 34-year-old debated at length with a rules officials about his potential options, before playing the ball as it lay, somehow nipping a perfect wedge over a television camera tower and to within a few feet of the hole.
That hard-earned par will give Quiros a five-stroke lead over South Africa's Zander Lombard on Sunday, when the duo will be joined in a three-man final group by Spain's Pep Angles.
The young Catalan shot the best round of the day, a three-under 68, despite a double and two bogeys on the back nine, to sit six shots back at 10 under, level with Italian Renato Paratore.