American Peter Uihlein shot a third-round 67 at Celtic Manor to take control of the ISPS Handa Wales Open.
Uihlein, who turned 24 on Thursday, is on seven under par, three shots clear of French pair Thomas Levet and Gregory Bourdy.
Uihlein won the Madeira Islands Open in May and has had three other top-10 finishes this season, while he also shared the halfway lead in the Irish Open before fading over the weekend.
"I feel like I have been in good positions a lot this year and had some opportunities. The more I do it, the more and more comfortable I will be," Uihlein said after a round containing five birdies, three bogeys and an eagle.
"I was much better today, I was able to slow it down and be in my own element and not get ahead of myself.
"I learnt a lot from playing with Jim Furyk in the first two rounds of the US PGA Championship (where Furyk finished second).
"It was great to learn how he went about his business. He was never away from his plan of playing 15ft away from the flags where required, where I sometimes go flag-hunting too much.
"Today the wind was tricky but I was able to play solid and attack where I needed to. I was able to plot my way around. I am excited about tomorrow and looking forward to it."
Levet matched Uihlein's 67 as he looks to improve on a dreadful season in which his best finish from 17 events is a share of 30th place.
The 44-year-old, who won the 2011 French Open but promptly broke his leg by diving into a greenside lake in celebration, said: "I've been struggling all year, that's for sure.
"I've been fighting with my game a little bit, but the scoring was never right. My performances this year, I played much better than they show. My caddie has told me to stay patient, it's going to come and it's coming this week probably.
"I'm very happy with a 67 because this course is a monster."
Spain's Rafael Cabrera Bello, Holland's Joost Luiten and Sweden's Peter Hedblom are four off the lead on three under par, with Hedblom's 66 the lowest round of the day.
Surprise halfway leader Welshman Liam Bond, who is ranked 1,528th in the world and only got into the tournament at short notice, struggled to a 78 to fall nine shots off the pace.