Alex Noren improved his score for the third day running to take the lead at the 2015 Nordea Masters, shooting seven birdies to go 11 under par for the tournament in Malmo, Sweden.
The Swede completed a round of five under on Saturday, leaving him two shots clear of the field.
Six Swedish golfers occupy the top 10 after Saturday's play, with Henrik Stenson in contention after shooting a 68 to tie for sixth position.
Here is the current leaderboard after a magnificent day of golf in Malmo:
|Nordea Masters 2015: Day 3 Leaderboard|
For the full leaderboard, check out the European Tour website.
Noren Strides Ahead After Sensational Round
Despite being ranked outside the top 100 in the world, Noren grabbed a five-shot lead over superstar countryman Stenson going into the final day's play.
Noren outclassed the field with an impressive five-under on Saturday, giving him a two-shot advantage over Germany's Maximilian Kieffer, who sits at nine under for the competition.
The European Tour hailed the Swede's excellent round on social media, confirming his card and posting a video of his diversity with club in hand:
Noren started the day in fine fettle, sinking four birdie putts from his first five holes. A bogey on nine briefly slowed his charge, but this was rectified immediately with further birdies on 10 and 11.
The golfer then played a steady round on the second half of his round, bogeying 16 but grabbing a fantastic birdie on the final hole.
Despite his best efforts, Noren will be looking over his shoulder at the improving Stenson, whose four under puts him in contention.
Stenson is comfortably in the world's top 10 golfers at present, and he resides on six under for the competition with fellow Swedes Steven Jeppesen and Kristoffer Broberg.
Stenson shot an eagle on the first and four further birdies to claw back the deficit after two average rounds on Thursday and Friday.
However, Noren was the golfer most delighted with how Saturday unfolded, and he highlighted his impressive putting as a key strength in Malmo, per EuropeanTour.com:
It’s very nice and I’m very happy to play the way I did today, especially my putting. My whole game, in fact, was pretty good. It was a great start. I hit some good shots on one and two and holed a couple of good putts on four and five.
The year has been fantastic – I’ve had a few good finishes and steadier play. I’m working hard on hitting the right shots at the right times, and on days like today you get a good test of it.
Noren is in the form he needs to be in going into Sunday's final round, but Stenson looks menacing on the rails and his quality is undoubted.
The motivation to win on home soil will be key for both players—but Stenson is the player with the pedigree in these situations.
There is no one else in the field who has Stenson's depth of experience or shot-making ability, and if he can sink several birdies in the first half of his next round, Noren will surely struggle to keep the pace.
However, it might be Danish golfer Soren Kjeldsen who is the dark horse to win the competition. He currently sits on seven under at the close of play on Saturday—just four shots off the lead—and after shooting two sub-70 rounds in a row, he could be the individual to leapfrog the pack.