Monza - Alexander Levy surged into a one-shot clubhouse lead midway through the third round of the weather-affected Italian Open before play was suspended due to darkness on Saturday.
The Frenchman started the afternoon six shots behind second-round leader Chris Paisley but began with an eagle and had five birdies in a brilliant front nine.
Levy was on 14-under after 12 holes when play was suspended, one shot ahead of Paisley, home favourite Francesco Molinari, Danny Willett, and Chris Hanson.
"I played well the first two days but I started really strongly today," Levy said.
"Nice eagle on the first, nice birdie on the second, and I kept going like that ... I don't know what will happen tomorrow but it's just nice to be playing some really good golf again."
Bad weather affected the first two days of the Italian Open and meant that half the field had yet to start their second rounds on Saturday morning.
Seeking his first European Tour win, Paisley shot an 8-under 63 in the morning to take a one-stroke lead into the third round but the Englishman bogeyed the first.
More than half of Darren Clarke's Europe team - including Willett - is competing in Monza ahead of the Ryder Cup at the end of the month.