Scotland’s David Drysdale surged into contention to claim his first European Tour title at the 498th attempt with a brilliant third round in the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters.
Drysdale fired seven birdies in a bogey-free 64 at Education City Golf Club to reach 13 under par and trail Spain’s Jorge Campillo by a single shot.
Denmark’s Jeff Winther is alongside Drysdale following a 65, with fellow Dane Benjamin Poke on 12 under and Sweden’s Alexander Bjork and Spaniard Pablo Larrazabal another stroke adrift.
Drysdale, who has finished runner-up three times during 19 seasons on the European Tour, had missed the cut in his last two starts and has a best finish of 36th from six events in the current campaign.
“It’s not been fantastic lately and it’s been a case of getting the head down, trying to grind out things to try and see some improvement,” the 44-year-old admitted.
“But I had a good couple of days with my coach, Jamie Gough (brother of former Rangers and Scotland defender Richard), on Tuesday and Wednesday and I felt really good on Thursday shooting that four under.
“I played very solid from tee to green. It’s not been quite as good since then and today was good for maybe 12 of the 18 holes. But, overall, it is going in the right direction.”
Campillo also endured a long wait for his maiden title, ending his drought in the Hassan Trophy last year at the 229th time of asking.
The 33-year-old briefly held a three-shot lead when he chipped in on the 10th for his fifth birdie in six holes, but played the remaining eight holes in one over par to return a 67.
“It was tough, especially the last four holes into the wind,” said Campillo, who had missed the cut in three of his last four events and was 67th in a 72-man field in the WGC-Mexico Championship.
“I’m in a good position for tomorrow but still 18 holes to go. I wasn’t playing good so leading after three days with what I’ve been through the last few weeks is nice.
“If I hadn’t won a tournament I would be a little bit more nervous going into tomorrow but since I won one time it’s a bit more familiar. I’ll still be nervous but hopefully I can play as good as today and win.”
England’s Andy Sullivan began the third round in a tie for the lead with Campillo, but double-bogeyed the 18th in a disappointing 72 to fall five shots off the pace.