Jesper Svensson signed for the lowest round of the day, a 65, featuring an eagle at the par-5 14th, six birdies and a bogey at the 8th to reach 9-under and take a share of the three-way tie for the lead after a windy day at the Bahrain Championship presented by Bapco Energies.
"It was tough out there," said the Swede. "I set from the beginning to play quite conservative and we were playing for the big targets. For the first part of the round it felt like every time I had the putter it had a chance of going in so it was nice."
South Africa's Dylan Frittelli shot a 68 for his share of the lead alongside Svensson and Switzerland's Joel Girrbach who set the early target with a 70.
Spain's Alejandro del Rey also signed for a 70 and lies in solo fourth place at 8-under.
Overnight leader Tom Vaillant shot a 73 and slipped down into a share of fifth place at 7-under alongside fellow Frenchman Julien Guerrier (67), Welshman Jamie Donaldson (68), South African Ockie Strydom (71) and Australian Harrison Endycott (68).
Guerrier was the only player in the field of 67 to finish his round bogey-free.