Eddie Pepperell will take a three-shot lead into the final day of the British Masters, with Paul Dunne, Shane Lowry and Padraig Harrington all looking out of contention.

England’s Pepperell is seeking the second European Tour title of his career and steady golf on Saturday puts him in a strong position.

He carded a third round of 71 at Walton Heath to finish nine under par, with fellow Englishman Jordan Smith, Sweden's Alexander Bjork, American Julian Suri and France's Julien Guerrier all six under.

Dunne is on one over after a two-over 74, ending his slim hopes of successfully defending the title he won last year.

Lowry and Harrington are one shot further back on plus two, both having shot fourth round 71s.

A victory on Sunday would take Pepperell into the world's top 35 and almost certainly secure a Masters debut in 2019. The top 50 at the end of the year are guaranteed a place in the first major of the year at Augusta National in April.

The 27-year-old from Oxford began the day with a three-shot lead and was four clear when he holed from 14 feet for an eagle on the par-five 11th, with playing partners Smith and Matt Wallace doing likewise.

Smith also birdied the 12th after Pepperell three-putted and another birdie on the 15th took Smith within two shots of the lead, only for him to immediately drop a shot on the next.

Ryder Cup star Tommy Fleetwood is seven shots off the pace after rebounding from a 77 on Friday with a 70, while team-mate and tournament host Justin Rose is another stroke adrift following a 69.

A top-two finish on Sunday would see Rose reach the top of the world rankings for the second time this season, the 38-year-old having spent two weeks as number one in September.

Looking for number one: Justin Rose

"That hasn't actually been on my mind," Rose said. "It's going to be tough to get there as I've got a lot of points to defend, but I've just got to focus on playing well.

"I got there with it being a by-product of good play and I'm going to have to get back there the same way. You can't force it."