MOSCOW -- Michael Hoey shot a 7-under 65 Saturday to lead the M2M Russian Open by five strokes going into the last round.
The Northern Irishman, who is chasing his fifth European Tour title, made an eagle on the par-5 eighth hole and had six birdies for an overall 14-under 202.
Overnight leader Rikard Karlberg (72) of Sweden and Matthew Nixon (68) of England are tied for second with 207.
Karlberg dropped four shots on his first six holes before recovering with four birdies the rest of the way.
Opening rounds of 70 and 67 had left Hoey one behind at the halfway stage, with the 34-year-old talking of his need to cut out the mistakes from his game in order to challenge over the weekend. And he did that in style in his best-of the-week 65 at Tseleevo Golf & Polo Club.
“It was one of those days where everything went my way for the most part,” Hoey said. “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,” he added. “You just don’t really expect to hole those ones so that was a bit of a bonus. … I am making a lot of putts this week and that is always the difference at this level. It’s all about putting."