The stage is set for a dramatic final round of the International Team Championship as Teams Germany and Scotland share the lead and their closest pursuers are just a shot behind.
Germany and Scotland go into it locked on 18-under (414), just one stroke clear of Teams England and Ireland after the third negotiation of the New Course at Gloria Golf Club in the Turkish resort of Belek.
Such a bunched leaderboard is at odds with the scenario at the start of play when the gap between Germany in pole position and Scotland in fourth was five strokes
But Scotland, runners up in 2015 and winners 12 months earlier, showed all their experience in reducing the deficit.
Greig Hutcheon and Greg McBain proved their men for the occasion with rounds of six (66) and four-under (68) respectively while the third member of the team, Graham Fox, had a rare off day.
“I was exceptionally poor today,” he admitted. “I decided to get rid of the bad stuff and save the best for tomorrow!”
Fox was a member of Team Scotland that lost to France in a play-off last year and was victorious in 2014. Despite those experiences, however, the Scots will go into the final round without a specific game plan.
“There are three very good golfers in our team,” he added. “So there’s no need to change anything. We’ll just go out and try our best – what will be will be.”
Team Germany are adopting a similar line as Dennis Küpper [pictured below, left] explained: “There’s been no plan so far so we’ll keep it like that.
“It’s a great golf course in great condition. You need to be a good player to score here – so if you win here you deserve it.”
Thus far Küpper has scored well here – his 13-under-par return makes him the tournament’s leading individual.
However, as its title suggests, the International Team Championship is a team event. So, with Küpper’s return of one-under representing his least influential score in the tournament, it fell to Christopher Godson [picture below, middle, alongside Florian Jahn, right] to step up to the plate.
And he did so in fine style, weighing in with a round of four-under, the highlight of which was an eagle at the par five 18th.
Teams England and Ireland also made up ground on Germany after beginning the tournament’s penultimate round four and three strokes adrift respectively.
Paul Hendriksen proved England’s ace in the pack with a round of six-under and Michael McDermott (four-under) followed suit for the Irish.
At first sight, the battle to be crowned champions looks a four-cornered one but, with the best two scores from three counting, Team Wales is very much in the shake up.
After a round in which Liam Bond posted a score of five-under and Garry Houston weighed in with a two-under-par return, they are on 13-under for the tournament.
That leaves them just five shots shy of the lead and Team Scotland’s achievement in reducing Germany’s overnight advantage will not have gone unnoticed by Bond, Houston and Stuart Runcie.
In addition to the quartet of challengers for the trophy, The PGA of Holland (six-under), Turkey (two-under) and Finland (one-under) are all under par for the tournament.
In Turkey’s case that means they are well on course to retain the International Shield in the tournament within a tournament.
The competition is for teams representing a PGA with 100 members or fewer and Turkey go into the final round cushioned by a 14-shot advantage over the PGA of Russia.
The in-form player, Ulas Karatas, is five-under after three rounds and just one of 13 players under-par for the event.
PGA of Germany, PGA in Scotland (-18); PGA in Ireland, PGA in England (-17); PGA in Wales (-13); PGA of Holland (-6); PGA of Turkey (-2); PGA of Finland (-1)