Talk about taking off. In the Turkish Airlines Open, Li Haotong produced the kind of thunderous surge which just about had folk adopting the brace position as the Chinese youngster powered to front at the Regnum Carya resort.

A superbly assembled eight-under 63, which included a rampaging front nine of 29, lifted the 23-year-old on to a 17-under aggregate of 196 as he finished three clear of Alexander Levy and defending champion Justin Rose with one round to play.

Haotong continues to prove that he is a man for the big occasion. He thrust himself into the global spotlight in 2017 when he closed with a 63 to finish third in the Open at Birkdale while he staved off the menace of Rory McIlroy to win the Dubai Desert Classic earlier this season.

This latest blitz featured six birdies and an eagle two on the 10th, where he holed an 8-iron from some 170 yards, as his push for a third European Tour gathered pace and purpose.

“I just want to play my best and beat him,” said Haotong as he licked his lips at the prospect of going head-to-head with Rose who needs to win to return to world No 1.

Levy got himself in the mix with a 66 while Rose endured a topsy-turvy day that saw him make

three trips into Regnum Carya’s myriad water hazards on his way to an eventful 69. “I struggled with my focus and made a couple of questionable

decisions out there,” he conceded. “Maybe just a little bit of tiredness was kicking in. I don’t know. In some ways, I feel like there’s nothing to lose tomorrow and all those things to gain. It’s actually going to be a bit easier than being one ahead.”

Russell Knox was making sturdy advances up the order until he plunged his drive at the last into the water, racked up a double-bogey six in a 69 and slithered back to an eight-under tally.

“It sucks,” lamented a brassed-off Knox who is just not firing on all cylinders these days. “I have to feel better over the shots. The difference when you are playing great is that you don’t doubt yourself. You feel amazing over the ball and with your swing, and I am just not quite there just now. Everything seems a litter harder at the moment.”

Stephen Gallacher, the only other Scot in the field, posted a level-par 71 to finish day three with a one-under total.

On the European Challenge Tour, meanwhile, Robert MacIntyre, Grant Forrest, Liam Johnston and David Law put the tin lid on a fine season as they all sealed promotion to the European Tour at the end of the Grand Final in Ras Al Khaimah.

The Scottish quartet were all inside the card-winning places heading into the closing event of the campaign and got the job done to ensure a fresh wave of rookies from the game’s cradle will stride out on the main circuit in 2019.

MacIntyre, the Oban left-hander who is in his first full year as a professional, was the pick of the bunch in the Grand Final as he shared sixth place on a 10-under 278 after a closing 69 to end the 12th on the rankings. Grant Forrest signed off with a 68 for 280 and was the leading Scot on the order of merit at No 7 with Liam Johnston, a double winner on the circuit, finishing 10th on the money list. David Law finished 14th of the 15 graduates as Scottish golf enjoyed its best ever year on the second-tier circuit.

“It’s been a fantastic year,” said Johnston. “Hopefully we can go on and push for European Tour titles. I don't see why not. We’ve got everything in front of us so we are looking forward to next year.”