Cormac Smyth will take a two-shot lead into the final round of the Carlow Midlands Open as part of the PGA Ireland Open Series.
Smyth of Old Conna Golf Club shot a three-under 67 on a day of tough scoring in Carlow Golf Club.
Home to three-time Irish PGA Champion Damien McGrane, Carlow proved a seriously tough test of golf with just six players shooting under-par.
Smyth carded four birdies and just one dropped shot to lead Neil O’Briain, Sean O’Donoghue, Damian Mooney, Simon Thornton and Eoin O’Brien all sharing second place on one-under after 69s.
Smyth cruised to the turn in two-under after birdies on the 3rd and 8th holes and he moved to three-under for the day with a third birdie of the day on the 15th.
A first dropped shot of the day on the 16th dropped him back to two-under but he stretched his advantage out to two with a closing birdie for his 67.
There are some big names lurking on level-par including Colm Moriarty, Michael McGeady and four-time winner on the region this season Richard Kilpatrick all of whom are carrying on their good form from Carne.
Last weekend’s winner Shane Jenkinson is on one-over after a 71 alongside former PGA Champion David Higgins.
The man of the moment McGrane is back on two-over after a 72.
Despite carding three birdies it was a round littered with mistakes with six bogeys blotting his card.
The Kells native started well with a birdie on the second but successive bogeys on 5 and 6 saw his day take a turn for the worse. Bogeys on nine and twelve left him struggling on three-over but he recovered well with a birdie, bogey, birdie finish to keep himself just about in the hunt.