Belgium’s Thomas Pieters and Frenchman Matthieu Pavon carded matching 6-under 65s and will enter Sunday’s finale of the Portugal Masters sharing a four-shot lead on 16-under par.
Pieters, a four-time European Tour winner, cited putting as the key to his round.
“The front nine was really tough with the wind,” said Pieters, who is seeking his first victory since the 2019 season. “We got lucky, it just kind of died down on the back nine but the front nine was brutal.
“I putted well, I gave myself plenty of chances and it’s nice to walk off with a putt like that.
“It’s nice to be 16 under… hopefully I’ll have a chance tomorrow.”
Pavon, who has never held a 54-hole lead, will be searching for his maiden European Tour victory tomorrow.
“I try to hit as many greens as possible and this is the way I was,” said Pavon. “Focused on every shot, try to hit every shot like it was the most important in my life.
“The focus was really good and narrow today compared to yesterday so I will try to bring this mentality with me tomorrow.”
Denmark’s Lucas Bjerregaard (67) was solo third on 12 under, one clear of Sweden’s Kristoffer Broberg (66).
Englishman Sam Horsfield (69) and a second Dane, Nicolai Hojgaard (67), rounded out the top-5 leaders on 10 under.
Overnight leader Nino Bertasio struggled to a 3-over 74 and was among a logjam of players at T7 on 9 under.
2021 Portugal Masters
Leaderboard: Top 10
Pos-Player-To Par-(Rd 3)
1. Thomas Pieters -16 (-6)
1. Matthieu Pavon -16 (-6)
3. Lucas Bjerregaard -12 (-4)
4. Kristoffer Broberg -11 (-5)
5. Nicolai Hojgaard -10 (-4)
5. Sam Horsfield -10 (-2)
7. Benjamin Hebert -9 (-3)
7. Richard Bland -9 (-2)
7. Callum Shinkwin -9 (E)
7. Nino Bertasio -9 (+3)