Moscow Region, Russia – Michael Hoey fired a 7-under 65 on Saturday to jump out to a 5-stroke lead at the end of the third round of the Russian Open.
Hoey, who is searching for his fifth career victory on the European Tour, finished 54 holes at Tseleevo Golf & Polo Club at 14-under-par 202.
"It was one of those days where everything went my way for the most part," said Hoey. "I played really well and was swinging the club well, but I got a few breaks here and there that really helped the score."
Second-round leader Rikard Karlberg carded an up-and-down, even-par 72 during his third round to finish in a tie for second place with Matthew Nixon (68) at 9-under.
James Kingston (68) and Alexandre Kaleka (71) shared fourth at 8-under, while JB Hansen (67), Mikko Korhonen (70) and James Morrison (70) occupied sixth at minus-7.
Karlberg opened the day with a 2-stroke lead, but he quickly gave up that cushion with a double-bogey 6 at the second to fall to 7-under, handing the lead to Morrison, Hoey, Kaleka and Liang, who were all tied at minus-8.
Kaleka then birdied the fourth to move ahead of the pack and take the outright lead.
He added back-to-back gains at the sixth and seventh to move to 11-under and move two strokes clear of Morrison, who birdied the seventh to grab sole possession of second at minus-9.
But Morrison would bogey the ninth to fall three shots off the pace as Hoey used a strong stretch in the middle of his round to race to the top of the leaderboard.
The run started with birdie at the seventh to move him into a share of second place, and he followed that with an eagle at the eighth to move to 11-under and jump into first as Kaleka, who was playing along with Hoey, bogeyed the eighth to fall to minus-10.
Hoey kept his momentum going with consecutive birdies at the ninth and 10th, including a 70-foot putt at the ninth, to reach 13-under.
"You just don't really expect to hole those ones so that was a bit of a bonus," Hoey said about his effort at the ninth.
Kaleka, meanwhile, tripped to a double bogey at the par-4 ninth -- his fourth double bogey of the tournament -- and a bogey at the 10th to fall six strokes behind.
Hoey slipped to a bogey at the 11th to stop his run, but he bounced right back with a birdie at the 12th to again reach 13-under.
The Ulsterman later birdied the 18th to head into the final round with a 5- stroke lead.
Morrison was the only competitor to get within three strokes of Hoey during his final six holes when he recorded back-to-back birdies at the 16th and 17th to reach 10-under.
Morrison would triple bogey his final hole, though, to drop six strokes off the pace.
"Obviously, I have a good lead, but you just can't take it for granted," stated Hoey. "Things went my way today, but it might be someone else's day tomorrow. I am just going to go out there and try to enjoy it. I have been in positions to win before and finished it off and that will help a bit, but you still need to hit the shots and hole the putts."
NOTES: Hoey's last win came at the 2012 Trophee Hassan II ... He has not finished better than 25th this season and had missed seven of his last 10 cuts entering this tournament ... Hoey's 65 is the lowest score of the week ... Karlberg is playing in his 50th European Tour event despite never securing a full playing card.