Paul Lawrie has a two shot lead going into the fourth and final round of the Qatar Masters in Doha.
The Scot carded a two under par 70 at Doha Golf Club on Friday to leave him on 13 under for the event, enough for a two stroke lead over defending champion Branden Grace and Thorbjorn Olesen.
The wind was a challenge in Doha, leading to much of the field carding over-par rounds.
However, Lawrie was flawless, sinking two birdies late in his round to eke out into the lead.
His only close call was on the 12th, where a poor chip left Lawrie a tricky eight-footer for par, which he successfully negotiated. Birdies on the 14th and 18th would help his cause.
Following his birdie on the opening par five, Grace would rocket into contention following a thrilling run of three gains in row on the closing three holes, which saw him card an unblemished four under 68.
History beckons for both men on Saturday, as Lawrie seeks to lift the trophy for a record third time while Grace could mount the tournaments' first successful title defence.
Also in contention on Saturday are Spain's Rafa Cabrera-Bello and Tommy Fleetwood of England, who are locked on ten under.
Lee Slattery joins Andrew Johnston, Gregory Bourdy and Pelle Edberg on nine under, four shots off the pace.
Scotland’s Connor Syme and Englishman Matthew Jordan were also part of the successful quintet.
The English Open has been revived as part of the new schedule.
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The event was last staged in 2002.
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The world number one believes it would be the ‘right call’ to push the event back to 2021.
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The Dutchman finished third and second in the first two weeks of the home-based competition.
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