Ryder Cup team-mates Peter Hanson and Rory McIlroy allowed the chasing pack to close up with disappointing starts to the Shanghai Masters third round at Lake Malaren.
Although both birdied the 384-yard second, McIlroy followed with a bogey six and overnight leader Hanson dropped shots at the fourth and fifth.
Neither could pick up a birdie at the long seventh, which left the Swede 13 under par and Northern Ireland's world number one, chasing his fifth win of the year, one behind.
Hanson's compatriot Robert Karlsson, who burst into contention with a second-round 64, birdied the sixth and seventh to be only two back and only one further adrift were four players - England's Ross Fisher, South African Louis Oosthuizen and two more Ryder Cup heroes in Martin Kaymer and Nicolas Colsaerts.
Hanson was caught first by McIlroy and then by Colsaerts, who had three successive birdies around the turn, but responded with birdies of his own at the ninth and 11th to return to 14 under.
McIlroy matched the second of those to remain one behind, with Colsaerts two back after a bogey at the short 12th.
Graeme McDowell, another of the 11 Ryder Cup men in the field, was seven under for the day with one to go and up to joint fourth alongside Fisher and South African George Coetzee.