England's Aaron Rai takes a one-stroke lead into the final round of the 2020 Dubai Duty Free Irish Open at Galgorm Castle Golf Club in Ballymena.
The 25-year-old, who tied for the lead heading into the weekend, didn't let an opening bogey unnerve him, carding five birdies while tossing in just one more dropped stroke en route to an impressive round of 67.
He leads by one stroke from Australia's Maverick Antcliff, who shot into contention after a superb second round of 65, which only concluded on Saturday morning, an eagle on the 36th hole leaving him tied for the lead at the midway stage.
The Aussie started brightly with birdied on the first and third and held the lead at various stages but some wayward driving on the closing stretch forced him to scramble to ensure he retained second place on his own.
One stroke further behind is a trio of players - South Africa's Dean Burmester, Sweden's Oscar Lengden and the Thai player Jazz Janewattananond - all of whom struck under par rounds, with the latter two carding 66.
The low round of the day - aside from the early starters finishing off their second round - went to Sweden's Rikard Karlberg who carded a five under par 65 to climb to -3 for the tournament.
A total of 17 players are currently under par as the Co Antrim course - a late replacement for a competition which had originally been fixed for Mount Juliet - has held up well, with crowds restricted to a couple of neighbouring farmers and their herd.
In the rough - There were a few disinterested spectators at the @DDFIrishOpen #RTEGolf #RTESport pic.twitter.com/32dJauObeE— RTÉ Sport (@RTEsport) September 26, 2020
The already remote prospect of a home winner has fizzled out entirely by the day's end with the five remaining Irish players shooting over par rounds.
With the highest profile Irish contenders, Shane Lowry and Padraig Harrington, failing to make the cut, it fell to the quintet of James Sugrue, Jonathan Caldwell, Colm Moriarty, Mark Power and Damien McGrane to mount a charge.
'Today, I don't think I could have had a worse score' - the Irish contingent reflect on a difficult and disappointing day at Galgorm @DDFIrishOpen— RTEgolf (@RTEgolf) September 26, 2020
#RTEGolf #RTESport pic.twitter.com/qouceUyCQH
The Cork amateur Sugrue, who won the British Amateur last year and played the US Open at Winged Foot last week, was the best contender and the only Irish player to be under par after the opening two rounds.
However, on a frustrating day when he failed to capitalise on his many chances, Sugrue struck a three over par round of 73, a score matched by Caldwell, Morairty and Power.
The 49-year-old McGrane carded a five over par round of 75.