Branden Grace will take a four-stroke advantage over Dane Thorbjorn Olesen into the closing 18 holes of the Dunhill Links Championship after a three-under-par 69 at Carnoustie - lifted him to 20 under.
Grace did not have everything go his way in the third round. After a hat-trick of birdies he double-bogeyed the 472-yard 15th, but as he picked up another shot on the last Olesen double-bogeyed the 17th at Kingsbarns.
Swedes Fredrik Andersson and Alex Noren are in third spot, while Scot Stephen Gallacher produced a spectacular finish to be in the group on 14 under.
Shane Lowry is the best of the Irish on seven under, with Padraig Harrington and Peter Lawrie are a shot further back.
Two of the three returning Ryder Cup players made the cut, but it will disappoint locals that the one to miss out was Paul Lawrie.
A 68 for three under at St Andrews was never likely to be enough for him, but Martin Kaymer's 69 took him to six under and Peter Hanson matched that round to squeeze through on five under.
Although Jose Maria Olazabal's four assistants - Darren Clarke, Paul McGinley, Thomas Bjorn and Miguel Angel Jimenez - all failed to make it, lone American Dustin Johnson, winner of all his three games in the Chicago defeat, is alongside Kaymer thanks to a 67