Scott Hend produced a timely birdie to regain his two-shot lead moments before the siren sounded to halt play on day three of the rain-affected Omega European Masters.
Hend showed his delight in holing a two-metre birdie putt at the par three, 13th hole by throwing both arms into air and move back to 11-under par on the Crans-sur-Sierre high in the Swiss Alps.
Play had first been halted at 2.36pm due to fog and rain and did not resumte until 5pm local time.
The Queenslander, and with wife Leanne acting as caddy, led the co-sanctioned European and Asian Tour event on day one and two in moving to 13-under par.
Hend then went to 14-under playing a great iron shot from the left rough to some two-metres from where he holed out for a ‘3’ and only play a couple more holes when the round was suspended
However, Hend returned looking shaky for a first time all week and after bogeys at the fourth and eighth holes he continued to wobble with back-to-back bogeys at 11 and 12. It was little wonder then, and the light fading quickly, Scott was pleased to birdie the 13th for a second time in three days.
Hend had produced one of the best pars of his round at the par five, ninth hole when his second shot was way right into trees from where he managed to find the green with a deft tee shot under branches and onto the back of the green from where he two-putted from just over a metre for par.
Weather-permitting the third round will resume at 8am Sunday local time ahead of the fourth and final round starting at 9.55am local time.
Hend is not only looking to secure a third European Tour title but make amends in losing out in a play-off a year ago.
If successful, Hend will become the sixth Australian winner of the event first contested as the Swiss Open in 1923 and with the last being Perth’s Brett Rumford in 2007.
Rumford shot a third day 69 for a one-under tally.
Marcus Fraser produced his lowest score in signing for a 66, and that included an 18th hole birdie for a third day running, to end his round at eight-under par and then share of fifth place at eight-under par.
Just a shot back from Melbourne’s Todd Sinnott who birdied the par five, 14th also for a third day into succession to be tied with Fraser but with four holes still to play.
Of the other Aussies Sam Brazel (70) was level par, Jason Schrivener (73) at three-over and Nathan Holman (75) at four-over par.