England's Laurie Canter will take a three-shot lead over countryman Matt Fitzpatrick into the final round of the Andalucia Masters.

Canter birdied the last in a 67 to get to seven under and give himself some breathing room at the top of the leaderboard, with Fitzpatrick carding a third-round 70 in his first event since the Ryder Cup.

It was just five years ago that Canter signed for an 89 at Valderrama in the Open de Espana but he is now on the brink of claiming his first European Tour title at the 1997 Ryder Cup venue, which is widely regarded as one of the toughest tests in the game.

Ireland's Jonathan Caldwell shot a 77 to stand at 11 over.

Birdies on the first and second had Canter in the lead but he gave the shots back on the third and fifth before gains on the sixth, eighth, 10th and 11th put him three ahead.

Fitzpatrick had turned in one over but he made a hat-trick of birdies from the 10th - including a chip-in on the 11th - to trim the lead to two.

Both players bogeyed the 13th but Canter hit a huge drive down the last and put an approach to 12 feet for a closing birdie and a three-shot cushion.

Fitzpatrick failed to claim a point as Europe were defeated 19-9 at Whistling Straits and the Yorkshireman was happy to have the competitive juices flowing again.

"I'm excited to be in the final group," he said. "The aim at the start of the week is to be up there. It doesn't get better than having a chance to win on Sunday. I'll go out there and enjoy it.

"Valderrama was a real test today. I'm really pleased with the way I grinded it out and I'm happy with the one under."

American David Lipsky was at three under after a 64, with just nine players under par