Former champion Thomas Pieters will take a one-shot lead into the final round of the D+D Real Czech Masters after posting a battling 66 on Saturday.

The 2015 winner produced a round of two halves on day three, making one bogey and five birdies in his first seven holes - including four on the spin from the fourth - before tapping in for an eagle at the long ninth to hit the front.


Despite beginning his back nine with a bogey after finding the thick rough and then making seven straight pars, Pieters was still in a share of the lead as he stood at the 18th tee.

And he closed his round with a delightful birdie from around 12 feet to get to 16 under par and take the outright lead.

Spaniard Adri Arnaus was Pieters' nearest challenger on 15 under after making seven birdies in his sparkling third-round 65.

Paul Dunne is in a tie for 25th on six under after a 69, his best round of the week. Birdies on the 15th and 17th helped the Greystones native finish on a high.

There was less to celebrate for Padraig Harrington, who followed up Friday's 68 with a 73 that matched his opening score, and left him in a tie for second last.

After his round, Pieters told the European Tour's website: "I think the key to that front nine was the driving. I hit it really far and straight so that was presenting a lot of birdie opportunities and a lot of short clubs into the holes.

"To convert the putt on nine after a wonderful six iron in was great and it's the closest I've come to a two on a par five.

"I struggled a bit on the back nine. I stayed patient, though, and got a nice birdie to finish."

Swede Robert Karlsson, 49, and halfway leader Edoardo Molinari were among the players in a tie for third on 14 under.

Meanwhile, Soomin Lee was disqualified on Saturday afternoon after his caddie failed to remove the flagstick on the 11th green, having been instructed by Lee - who was on seven under par - to attend it.

A statement from the tournament's chief referee Kevin Feeney read: "Under Rule 13.2a, the player may make a stroke with the flagstick in the hole, but, if the player wishes for it to be attended, the flagstick must be removed after the stroke is made. As the flagstick was deliberately not removed and the ball holed, Rule 11.2c applies.

"Under Rule 11.2c (2), if the stroke is made from the putting green, the stroke does not count and the original ball or another ball must be replaced on its original spot. (See Rule 14.2). This would have carried a penalty of two strokes.

"As the player did not fulfil the provisions of 11.2c before playing from the next teeing ground, he is disqualified under Rule 3.3c (failure to hole out)."