Newport, Wales – Peter Uihlein carded a 4-under 67 on Saturday to claim a 3-stroke lead at the Wales Open.
Uihlein, who is seeking his second win this season after earning his first career European Tour victory at the Madeira Islands Open in May, finished three rounds at Celtic Manor Resort at 7-under-par 206.
"I was just solid today and was able to plot my way around," said Uihlein. "I am excited (for tomorrow) and looking forward to it."
Thomas Levet also shot 67 to move into a share of second place with Gregory Bourdy (70) at 4-under, while Peter Hedblom (66), Joost Luiten (69) and Rafael Cabrera-Bello (71) are tied for fourth at minus-3.
Second-round leader Liam Bond struggled to a 7-over 78 on Saturday to plummet all the way down to a share of 31st place at 2-over 215.
Bond parred his first five holes to maintain his 1-stroke advantage before his struggles started with back-to-back bogeys at the sixth and seventh.
It would only get worse from there as the Welshman recorded three bogeys and a triple bogey around his lone birdie over his final 12 holes to fall well off the pace.
That briefly handed the lead to Levet, Graeme Storm and Tjaart van der Walt at 4-under, but it was Uihlein who took advantage of the overnight leader's struggles when he rolled in a 9-foot eagle at the ninth to leap into first place at 5-under.
Uihlein had played his first eight holes at even par by countering bogeys at the first and fifth with birdies at the second and third.
Storm briefly grabbed a share of the lead with a gain at the ninth, but Uihlein pulled ahead for good with a 50-foot birdie putt at the 10th.
Storm then dropped shots at the 10th, 13th and 18th to finish at 2-under.
Uihlein was never threatened again, as he rolled in a 10-foot birdie effort at the 14th to move to 7-under and two strokes clear of his nearest competitor.
The American traded a bogey at the 17th with a birdie at the last to finish there.
"I feel like I've given myself a few opportunities this year and hopefully I can stick to my game plan," Uihlein said about his approach entering the final round.
NOTES: Bond is the club pro at nearby St. Pierre who was invited to play this event on Wednesday ... Uihlein had missed his last three cuts entering this event ... Levet is seeking his seventh career win on the European Tour, while Bourdy is looking for his fourth.