Madrid - Local favourite and defending champion Jon Rahm stormed through the back nine on Saturday to move to within touching distance of regaining his Spanish Open title.
Rahm will take a commanding five-shot lead into the final day at Club de Campo Villa de Madrid after he carded a round of 63 to finish the day 17 under, ahead of fellow Spaniards Rafa Cabrera Bello and Samuel Del Val.
He had come into day three trailing by two shots and after the first nine holes, Rahm had not improved his position. But five birdies and an eagle ensured he will be the hot favourite on Sunday to clinch his fifth European Tour triumph and move to the top of Race to Dubai rankings.
"I've never teed off with such a lead," he said. "Every time I've teed off it's been a one shot lead or tied for the lead so it's going to be a little bit of a different story.
"I don't know what the challenge is going to be. I have a real good chance to defend this title, I'm feeling good so hopefully I can keep doing what I've been doing.
"It's just one of those days where everything was going good for me on that back nine."
Consecutive bogeys on the eighth and ninth holes left Rahm with work to do but he sank a brilliant putt from 18 feet on the tenth, which kickstarted his stunning run to the end.
By the 15th, Rahm had clinched four birdies in a row, with an incredible second shot at the 16th spinning in for an eagle.
Del Val is 1 408 spots below Rahm in the world rankings but put up a good fight, even if a three-putt on the 18th made for a rather disappointing finish.
He ties Cabrera Bello on 12 under, with Sweden's Jens Dantorp on 11 under. Zander Lombard, Adria Arnaus, Jason Scrivener and Fabrizio Zanotti all sit one shot further back.
196 - Jon Rahm (ESP) 66-67-63
201 - Rafael Cabrera-Bello (ESP) 66-65-70, Samuel Del Val (ESP) 67-65-69
202 - Jens Dantorp (SWE) 67-70-65
203 - Jason Scrivener (AUS) 67-68-68, Zander Lombard (RSA) 67-67-69, Adri Arnaus (ESP) 65-66-72
205 - Justin Harding (RSA) 69-72-64, Fabrizio Zanotti (PAR) 71-69-65, Joachim B. Hansen (DEN) 69-69-67, Masahiro Kawamura (JPN) 70-67-68