St Andrews - Talented Danish 25-year-old Thorbjorn Olesen edged closer towards a third European Tour victory after a third round of seven-under 65 on Saturday left him three shots clear at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.
The diminutive right-hander, who hails from Fureso, some 20km outside Copenhagen, shook off a bogey at the par-four opening hole at St Andrews before reeling off eight birdies in a third straight round in the 60s.
Olesen finished in a tie for sixth at the 2013 Masters and tied for 12th at the 2012 British Open, his best results at a major tournament.
Germany's Florian Fritshch, looking for his maiden EPGA victory, is Olesen's closest pursuer and alone in second spot on 14-under following a bogey-free round at Kingsbarns that included an eagle, at the par-five third, and six birdies in a round of 64.
"It was a great day. I started off badly by hitting it in the water on the first but I got over it and played some good golf out there," said the delighted Olesen.
"My putter started to get very hot out there and I holed a lot of great putts. So yeah, it was good fun.
"To be honest it's been very tough this season with an injury, also, and playing some bad golf. But I've been finding my way and just practising hard and just hoping for it to come along at some point.
"We will see how the weather is tomorrow (Sunday) but if it's the same, there's definitely going to be a lot of birdies."
Frenchman Benjamin Hebert holds down third place after 54 holes and is 13 under thanks to six birdies against just one bogey at Carnoustie .
Thailand's Kiradech Aphibarnrat is a further shot back after carding eight birdies and two bogeys at St Andrews. The 26-year-old from Bangkok recently won the Paul Lawrie Matchplay, in August, for his second EPGA title and sixth professional victory.
Young Swede Joakim Lagergren is also five strokes behind Olesen as he carded the lowest round of the day with a 62, while Welshman Bradley Dredge and American Chris Stroud are also in the four-man group on 12-under.
South Africa's four-time major winner Ernie Els remains in contention after a fine round of 66 left the man known as "The Big Easy" in a six player group, six shots off the lead.
Third round leaderboard:
199 - Thorbjorn Olesen (DEN) 68 66 65
202 - Florian Fritsch (GER) 68 70 64
203 - Benjamin Hebert (FRA) 69 67 67
204 - Chris Stroud (USA) 68 66 70, Kiradech Aphibarnrat (THA) 75 63 66, Bradley Dredge 73 63 68, Joakim Lagergren (SWE) 71 71 62
205 - Brooks Koepka (USA) 72 69 64, Ernie Els (RSA) 72 67 66, Jamie Donaldson 69 65 71, Branden Grace (RSA) 73 64 68, Graeme Storm 69 68 68
206 - Graeme McDowell 68 69 69, Scott Piercy (USA) 69 69 68, Paul Dunne 64 70 72, David Horsey 72 70 64, Anthony Wall 65 658 73, Alejandro Canizares (ESP) 69 67 70, Soren Kjeldsen (DEN) 65 72 69, David Drysdale 68 72 66,
207 - Matthew Nixon 72 72 63, Ben Evans 70 72 65, Mikko Ilonen (FIN) 71 67 69, Stewart Cink (USA) 73 65 69, Bernd Wiesberger (AUT) 70 68 69, Felipe Aguilar (PAR) 67 73 67, Jimmy Mullen 64 69 74, James Morrison 67 70 70, Stephan Gallacher 67 72 68