South African Justin Harding carded a 71 in the third round of the Asian Tour’s International Series England on Saturday.
Harding, who started the day as overnight leader with Korean Kim Joo-hyung, is two off the lead.
Australia’s Travis Smyth, who signed for a five-under-par 66 on Saturday, is confident he can register a maiden Asian Tour success.
The 27-year-old tops the leaderboard on eight under par at Hexham’s Slaley Hall in an event that marks the Asian Tour’s debut in the UK.
Smyth leads by a shot from Thailand’s Sadom Kaewkanjana, who matched the course record with a 65, Zimbabwe’s Scott Vincent and Korean Kim Joo-Hyung.
“I definitely think I can win,” said Smyth. “This is the best chance that I’ve had on the Asian Tour to win, so I cannot wait to get out there.”
Sadom produced one of the finest rounds of his fledgling career to put himself in a position to win his third Asian Tour title.
“I had a good start from hole No 3 with a birdie, and a par save on the 4th that changed the momentum for my game today,” said Sadom, who enjoyed a bogey-free round.
He impressively worked his way up the leaderboard with birdies on 3, 8, 11, 12, 15 and 16.
Vincent, fresh from his third victory in Japan last weekend, will also go in search of a first Asian Tour title on Sunday.
It was a day for patience and the Zimbabwean showed plenty as he followed 10 straight pars with a trio of birdies from the 11th before a bogey at the last.
Harding also displayed great composure to recover from a damaging front nine in which he dropped three shots.
But he clawed them all back on the home loop to finish alongside his compatriots Neil Schietekat and Ian Snyman.
© Agence France-Presse