Li Haotong hit a fine third-round 62 to jump into a share of the lead at the Saudi International.
The South Korean holed four eagles to reel in American Dustin Johnson, who saw his 3-shot advantage disintegrate despite a solid finish of 65.
Former U.S. Masters champion Sergio Garcia was disqualified for intentionally damaging greens at at the Royal Greens Golf & Country Club in King Abdullah Economic City.
Li opened his third round with a chip-in eagle and found two more birdies on the front nine but also lost shots with a double-bogey, allowing Johnson to build up a 4-shot lead by carding six birdies, four of them in a row between the 9th and 12th holes.
But as the world No. 3 finished up his round with a series of pars to end the day on 16 under, Li closed the gap by chipping in for eagle at the 10th then finished off with back-to-back eagles in the final two holes to go level at the top heading into the final round.
Englishman Tom Lewis sits in third 5 shots back at 11 under after an impressive bogey-free 62 in his third round. France’s Alexander Levy and New Zealander Ryan Fox both came home with rounds of 67 to finish tied for fourth on 9 under.
Elsewhere, Spaniard Garcia apologised after his disqualification for serious misconduct related to damaging greens. In a statement posted on the European Tour website he said:
“I respect the decision of my disqualification.
“In frustration, I damaged a couple of greens, for which I apologise, and I have informed my fellow players it will never happen again.”
The European Tour confirmed the Spaniard had been as disqualified under Rule 1.2a, which allows blanket disqualification for serious misconduct.