Moscow - Michael Hoey, who had missed seven of his last ten cuts before turning up in Moscow, fired a scintillating seven under par 65 during Saturday's third round to take a five shot lead at the Russian Open.
Opening rounds of 70 and 67 and Saturday's fine effort featuring half a dozen birdies and an eagle left the player from Northern Ireland the man to beat as he targets his fifth European Tour title.
Hoey, whose best finish this season was 25th, said: "It was one of those days where everything went my way for the most part.
"I played really well and was swinging the club well, but I got a few breaks here and there that really helped the score.
"I holed a 70 foot putt on the ninth for example - that was probably the biggest break I had out there. You just don't really expect to hole those ones so that was a bit of a bonus."
Halfway leader Rikard Karlberg of Sweden and England's Matthew Nixon are tied for second on nine under, the former picking himself up after four early dropped shots to sign for a level par 72 while Nixon carded a 68.
One shot further back are South African James Kingston and Alexandre Kaleka of France.
On his prospects of winning on Sunday Hoey said: "Obviously I have a good lead but you just can't take it for granted.
"Things went my way today but it might be someone else's day tomorrow. I am just going to go out there and try to enjoy it.
"I have been in positions to win before and finished it off and that will help a bit, but you still need to hit the shots and hole the putts."