Zander Lombard will take a one-shot lead into the final round of the Lyoness Open after shooting a third-round 68 on Saturday.
The South African has never won on the European Tour, but has put himself in prime position to break that duck on Sunday.
Lombard took his total to 11 under par after a round that featured just one blemish – albeit an expensive one.
The 21-year-old made four birdies in his opening seven holes to take the outright lead, but disaster was to follow on the ninth where a wayward tee shot led to a triple-bogey seven.
To his credit, however, Lombard responded with three more birdies in a bogey-free back nine to ensure he would hold the sole lead heading into the final round.
“It’s always a great position to be in to really compete and I’m looking forward to it a lot, so I’m going to give it my best and try to stick to what I’m doing, it seems to be working so far," said Lombard after his round.
“It was a bit of a brain burp at the ninth to be honest, because it was never a driver for me all week – my gameplay there was a two-iron – but my confidence got to me and I just wanted to hit a little cut off the left bunker and I came out of it a little.
"It wasn’t that bad of a shot but there’s no margin for error on that tee shot so I paid the price but at least I kept my cool around the turn and steadied the ship with a good par.
“I had some big birdies out there which I needed but obviously you’re always going to hit bad shots in this game and unlucky that it was a tough hole.”
Lying in second place just one shot back is China's Ashun Wu, who rose into contention with a superb 65 that featured seven birdies.
“I made a lot of birdies today and no bogeys so I’m getting a really good feeling at the moment," said Wu.
“I just need to keep going now, don’t slow down and keep making birdies.”
Adrian Otaegui and Grégory Bourdy follow a further stroke back, while Joost Luiten and Richard McEvoy lie in a share of fifth place on eight under.
The English Open has been revived as part of the new schedule.
Close House Golf Club, near Newcastle, will host the British Masters on July 22.
The event was last staged in 2002.
The tournament at Close House, scheduled to start on July 30, is set to be the first European Tour event since the coronavirus crisis halted action.
The world number one believes it would be the ‘right call’ to push the event back to 2021.
The exhibition match, against Phil Mickelson and Tom Brady, raised 20 million dollars.
The Dutchman finished third and second in the first two weeks of the home-based competition.
NFL stars Tom Brady and Peyton Manning will also be involved.
The US President was among the viewers watching the TaylorMade Driving Relief.
The US President phoned in as McIlroy played in a Sunday fundraiser for coronavirus victims.