Atzenbrugg, Austria – Joost Luiten birdied three of his final four holes on Saturday to close out a 5-under 67 and grab a 3-stroke lead at the Lyoness Open.
Luiten, who led by a stroke at the end of the second round, finished 54 holes at Diamond Country Club at 16-under-par 200.
"It's always better to be leading than be behind," Luiten said. "I don't mind playing with the lead."
Jorge Campillo (66) and Eduardo De La Riva (69) shared second place at 13- under, while Thomas Bjorn fired a sizzling 8-under 64 to move into a tie for fourth with Romain Wattel (69) at minus-11.
Miguel Angel Jimenez (69) and Paul Waring (72) occupied sixth at 10-under.
Bjorn traded a bogey at the second with a trio of birdies at the fourth, sixth and seventh through his first nine holes before putting together a blistering back nine to race into contention.
After parring four straight from the eighth, Bjorn started his hot streak by holing out his second shot at the par-4 12th for an eagle, and poured in four birdies over his next six holes to move into a share of first place with De La Riva at 11-under.
"I've been plodding along and playing alright but not great. Something clicked into place today and I couldn't stop making birdies on the back nine," said Bjorn.
De La Riva had countered an opening bogey with back-to-back gains at the second and third to reach that mark.
Luiten and Waring, meanwhile, would eventually make it a four-way tie for the lead as Luiten traded bogeys at the first and fifth with birdies at the sixth and ninth, and Waring started his inward nine with a birdie at the 10th.
Waring had played his first nine holes at even par after birdies at the fourth and eighth around bogeys at the first and fifth.
Luiten was the first to move ahead of the pack with another birdie at the 10th.
He was met there by Campillo, however, as the Spaniard rolled in four straight birdies from the 10th.
De La Riva joined them at 12-under with a birdie at the 12th, but Campillo and Luiten again pulled ahead with birdies at the 15th and 12th, respectively.
Campillo closed with three straight pars to remain there.
Luiten then reeled off three straight birdies from the 15th to reach 16-under and parred the last to grab a 3-stroke lead entering the final round, where he will seek his second career victory on the European Tour.
"Once I settled down a bit I started to play better, hit some good shots and make some putts," Luiten said about his closing stretch.
Waring fell off the pace with a double-bogey six at the par-4 16th and a bogey at the 17th, while De La Riva followed his birdie at the 12th with five consecutive pars before birdieing the last to move into a share of second with Campillo.
NOTES: Luiten's last win was at the 2011 Johor Open ... Defending Champion Bernd Wiesberger can qualify for the PGA Tour's U.S. Open next week with a finish inside the top 12, which will move him into the top 60 of the world rankings. He currently sits in a tie for 29th at 5-under-par 211 ... Luiten is currently ranked 137th in the world.