Chris Wood was thrilled to pull three shots clear on 'moving day' in Doha, but admits he still faces a tough task in trying to close out a first European Tour victory.
The Englishman started round three two behind the leaders, but came from pack with a superlative 64 to establish a healthy cushion over his rivals at the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters.
The 25-year-old clinched his maiden professional title at the Thailand Open last August but is still waiting to open his account on the European Tour after several near misses.
The Bristolian is hoping he can break his duck on Saturday and will start the day three ahead of closest challengers, Alex Noren, Michael Campbell and compatriot Simon Khan.
"I'm very excited," Wood told reporters. "Two behind today (at the start) I thought as long as I kept myself in the mix I was going to be really looking forward to the last round, but leading hopefully gives me a bit of a cushion.
Of his chances of emerging victorious, he added: "Obviously it's going to be hard. It's hard to win any tournament on The European Tour, so it's going to be difficult."
"I wouldn't say it was one of my best rounds, but I played very solid and was giving myself loads of chances."
Khan, whose second and last triumph on the European circuit came at the Tour's flagship event at Wentworth in 2010, was also delighted to push himself into contention with a sparkling 64 to match that of Wood.
"It's been a tough couple of years since winning at Wentworth and it's amazing that the feelings start to come back quickly," said the 40-year-old who will partner Wood in Saturday's final pairing.
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