Garth Mulroy is the leader heading into the final day of the BMW Italian Open after he shot a six-under-par 66 at Royal Park on Saturday.
The South African registered six birdies and just one bogey to move to 17 under, one shot ahead of Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano.
Fellow Spaniards Rafa Cabrera-Bello and Pablo Larrazabal are a shot further back after rounds of 65 and 66 respectively.
Ryder Cup pair Nicolas Colsaerts and Martin Kaymer are in the hunt on 13 under, along with home favourite Matteo Manassero, overnight leader Ricard Bland, Welshman Phillip Price and France's Gregory Bourdy.
But it is Mulroy who is in control and the 34-year-old has a theory as to why he has played well in Italy.
"I said on the first day the course reminds me a lot of a South African course," he said. "The trees, the shape, and the ball goes a little further too.
"I haven't played so well this year. It would be a big thing to win on mainland Europe, especially with the purse here and the two-year exemption. I don't win very often so I'd take any win.
"I've played quite a bit with Gonzalo. We've been drawn together a few times and have played together a few more at the weekend. I enjoy it and I like his caddie too, he's a funny guy. I feel very comfortable out there."
Fernandez-Castagno had a mixed round with seven birdies and four bogeys and admitted he could have played better.
"I played well but I had a few unforced errors which cost me a few shots," he said.
"But two birdies to finish on the last two holes has put me back in contention and I'm in a great position for tomorrow.
"It's not going to be an easy task. There are a lot of players within four shots, and this is one of those courses where you can go really low if you have a good day.
"So I will need to play well again tomorrow and go low, especially to put some pressure on Garth, who is playing great. He's hitting the ball beautifully and his putting is fabulous. It's going to be hard to beat him tomorrow."