It was all happening on day three of the abrdn Scottish Open. There were so many birdies and eagles getting blasted, you just about expected a concerned RSPB officer to visit The Renaissance.

In the pleasant, inviting conditions, the East Lothian course was fair game. At times it resembled a shoot on the Glorious Twelfth.

Sweden’s Alexander Bjork showed what could be achieved as he came hurtling up some 50 places with a charging 63.

As for Dean Burmester? Well, the South African conjured a run of golf on an inward half of just 28 blows that really was quite remarkable and possibly unprecedented.

The 32-year-old, who was two-over for his round standing on the 12th tee, suddenly went ballistic and reeled off four successive twos – birdie, eagle, birdie, eagle – in a jaw-dropping thrust which saw him twice hole a 7-iron approach on both the 13th and 15th. It was thrilling stuff, even if all that excitement only left Burmester in 31st place.

At the sharp end of affairs, it was equally as alluring. When it was all said and done, Thomas Detry and Matt Fitzpatrick were sharing the lead on 14-under with world No 1, Jon Rahm, lurking just a shot back.

Some 27 players were within five strokes of the lead heading into the closing day with the Scottish duo, Richie Ramsay and David Law, four back and still eyeing both the title and one of the three qualifying places on offer for next week’s Open Championship. There’s plenty to play for.

Fitzpatrick reckons he’s playing “conservative” golf this week and his steady approach continued to reap rewards as a four-under 67 moved him to the summit. “I don’t think I’ve done anything special, just smart,” he said. “I’m not getting greedy so I’ll just keep that going.”

With six European Tour wins to his name, the Yorkshireman knows how to get the job done.

Detry, meanwhile, has yet to make that breakthrough but he has knocked on more doors than an Avon Lady. The 28-year-old Belgian has nine top-three finishes and a maiden win here would be warmly received.

He certainly stirred the locals on the 17th when his tee-shot flew over the stand and he ended up playing his second shot amid the tables and benches of a public refreshment area.

His delightfully executed recovery to salvage his par led to much appreciative hooting and hollering from the galleries. You half expected Detry to get a celebratory round in at the bar before putting out as he eventually signed for a three-under 68, which was also illuminated by an eagle on the fifth where he drove the green.

“It was an eventful day,” he gasped. “I hit a brutal shot (on 17). I actually thought it was just dead. Luckily there was a beer garden there. And there were a lot of nice people to cheer me on too.”

Rahm also experienced an eventful round as his bid to follow up his US Open win with a Scottish Open triumph stayed on course. It was far from plain-sailing, though, but Rahm showed great resilience to winkle out a two-under 69.

He started with a brace of bogeys, and missed a couple of short putts in a shoogly spell, but he ignited his round with a surge of five birdies in eight holes from the fifth. Another missed tiddler on the 16th, which spawned an untimely bogey, underlined the topsy-turvy nature of his round before a birdie putt on the 17th kissed the cup but didn’t drop. It was one of those days. “It was not my best day,” said Rahm, who was also hindered by playing the par-5s in two-over. “I left three or four shots out there. But that’s golf. And I’m still only one behind.”

One shot behind Rahm is the in-form Australian, Lucas Herbert, who came barging into contention with a rampaging seven-under 64. Herbert, fresh from a fine win in last weekend’s Irish Open, accelerated over the line with an eagle and two birdies on his last three holes to bolster his bid for back-to-back tour titles.

Law and Ramsay are among a posse on 10-under which includes Xander Schaufele, European Ryder Cup captain Padraig Harrington and the 1998 Scottish Open winner Lee Westwood.

The veteran Englishman had moved to the front after a four-under outward half but crippling double-bogeys at the 11th and 13th took the wind out of his sails.