The UK’s Chris Wood fired a second straight 68 on Saturday, putting him one stroke ahead of Italy’s Renato Paratore and France’s Benjamin Hebert.
Paratore shot a 2-under 71 and Hebert a 3-under 70. Wood has heated up since starting the tournament with a 74. Wood was at his best to start the back nine, hitting birdies on 9, 10, 12, 13, and 16. In all, 18 players are within five shots of the lead going to the final round.
Day 2 leader Jamie Donaldson dropped like a rock with his 2-over 75. After only recording one bogey in his first 36 holes of play, Donaldson had two back-to-back on No. 3 and 4 on the front nine, and two more in a three-ole stretch between No. 12 and 14.
Defending champion Matthew Fitzpatrick shot a 2-under 71 to drop to 5-under for the tournament, three strokes off of the pace. Fitzpatrick has cut his list of bogeys down from four on Thursday to three on Friday to just one on Saturday.
A trio of native Swedes: Alex Noren, Krstoffer Broberg, and Niklas Lemke, are all tied for 16th at 3-under. Henrik Stenson fell out of contention barring a miracle, shooting a 2-over 75 to fall to 1-over. The 2016 Open Championship winner’s game fell apart with a trio of bogeys over four holes to end the front nine.
Wood is gearing to make it three straights seasons with a European Tour title. he won the Lyoness Open in 2015 and the BMW PGA Championship last year.