Defending champion Lee Westwood fired a six-under-par 66 to take a one stroke lead over Oliver Fisher, David Lynn and Thomas Levet entering the final round of the MAPFRE Open de Andalucía.
The English star birdied his first five holes and picked up two more birdies on the ninth and tenth before dropping his only shot on the par-four 11th.
"Seven under for the first 10 today was pretty good stuff," Westwood said. "I had good ball control, considering the gusty wind, and didn't hit any destructive shots.
"I'm going to play a round under the pressure of trying to win tomorrow, and that's what I wanted. The decision [to play in Spain] has gone 100 percent."
Damien McGrane hit a 71 to lead the Irish challenge on five under par in a tie for 17th with Rory McIlroy a shot further back after a one-under-par round of 71.
Peter Lawrie hit a two-under par 70 early in the day to move up to tied 36th on two under.