Eddie Pepperell carded a third-round 68 and will enter Saturday’s finale of the Betfred British Masters with a one-stroke lead.
The Englishman, who won the event in 2018, finished his third day at The Belfry with just one bogey against five birdies including a final-hole gain to reach 10-under par, and break away from a congested pack.
Despite the 54-hole pole position, Pepperell will not show up tomorrow overly confident.
“I’ve been awful, to be honest, so I don’t feel that confident,” said Pepperell, who owns two career wins, both coming in his 2018 breakout season.
“I’ve still got things going on in the swing that I can feel aren’t where they once were and can cause me aggro so the game still feels difficult.
“I can remember the game feeling easier when I was playing better a few years ago but that’s where I’m trying to get back to and I’m confident I will.
“I feel good, I feel really calm, I’m quite enjoying generally hitting better shots. I’m having a good time out on the course but I’m very much still in the process.
That logjammed pack features six players at T2 on 9-under par, including Scotsman Robert MacIntyre (70) and Italian Edoardo Molinari, who carded a tournament-low 64.
MacIntyre’s compatriot, Calum Hill (70), and another Italian in Guido Migliozzi (67) were also at 9 under, as was South African Dean Burmester (65) and Arian Meronk (65) of Poland.
Englishmen Dave Coupland (68) and Andy Sullivan (68) were 8 under alongside South Africa’s Justin Harding (70) and Austrian Matthias Schwab (67).
Tournament host Danny Willett (68) was among a group of five more at 7 under.
2021 Betfred British Masters
Top-5 Leaders: Round 3
Pos-Player-To Par-(Rd 3)
1. Eddie Pepperell -10 (-4)
2. Edoardo Molinari -9 (-8)
2. Dean Burmester -9 (-7)
2. Arian Meronk -9 (-7)
2. Guido Migliozzi -9 (-5)
2. Robert MacIntyre -9 (-2)
2. Calum Hill -9 (-2)
Material from the European Tour Communications was used to compile this report.