The Finn stayed bogey-free through 54 holes with a round of 68 that moved him to 13 under par and opened up a five-shot lead over South African Justin Walters, putting him in pole position to secure his first European Tour win in his 146thappearance after finishing in a tie for second place here last season.
The 37-year-old takes the largest 54 hole lead of the season into Sunday, after Walters missed a host of birdie chances in a level par round of 72 to stay at eight under par and one shot ahead of the chasing pack.
Australian Adam Bland, Canada’s Austin Connelly, Swede Peter Hanson, David Horsey of England, Dane Jeppe Pape Huldahl, Spaniard Miguel Ángel Jiménez, Scotland’s Connor Syme and 2016 champion Ashun Wu of China are all on seven under par.
In a world first for professional golf, every player has been on the clock for every shot in Austria this week, and with no bad times recorded for the first two days, round three brought three one-shot penalties.
Austrian Clemens Prader took four seconds over his allotted 50 to take a putt on the 16th hole, becoming the first man to be issued with a penalty for registering a bad time at the event. Scot Grant Forrest and Andrea Pavan of Italy later joined him as players to be given one shot penalties.
Mikko Korhonen: “I guess I’m just hitting fairways, hitting greens, making a few putts. That’s all really. I’ve felt good swinging and also putting. I have the pace pretty good on the greens.
“I have a game plan which I’m going to follow. I’m not going to say anything more about it. I’ve been doing that for the past three days and I’ll keep doing it.
“I’m very excited, it’s the first time I’ve been in this position so I’m looking forward to it.”
Justin Walters: “It was tough, conditions were a lot harder in a way. I hit the ball probably the best I have the three days so far and felt like I walked away with very little. It was nice to get the birdie on 16 and make that save on the last to keep a bit of momentum going into tomorrow.
“The way Mikko is playing I’ll need to make a few birdies, he’s playing so well. I’ve got it in me. I hit it well enough today to make quite a few, but my putter was on holiday. We’ll get it fixed and roll in a few tomorrow.”
Connor Syme: “There were a couple of bogies near the end, which was a little disappointing. The wind got up near the end there and it was definitely playing a little tougher than on the front nine. I’m happy with 69.
“There was a nice little chip in on 13. I was short-sighted so up and down was going to be a good result from there. It was a bonus to chip in. That was definitely the stand out moment today.”
Clemens Prader: “I just didn’t hear him, I didn’t hear “time”. I was just in my routine and it must have been called sometime when I was walking to my ball, which is fine, I just didn’t hear it. It was just four seconds over, which is a little unfortunate.
“It’s just an unfortunate situation. It was early, I was still going with a decent round, it’s just how it is. It’s the name of the game and I accept it.”
Round three scores
203 M Korhonen (Fin) 68 67 68,
208 J Walters (RSA) 68 68 72,
209 P Hanson (Swe) 67 73 69, M Jiménez (Esp) 67 70 72, J Huldahl (Den) 68 69 72, C Syme (Sco) 68 72 69, A Wu (Chn) 69 68 72, A Connelly (Can) 69 71 69, D Horsey (Eng) 70 71 68, A Bland (Aus) 70 73 66,
210 O Lengden (Swe) 66 73 71, N Cullen (Aus) 70 70 70, R Jacquelin (Fra) 71 69 70, L Slattery (Eng) 72 72 66, M Schwab (Aut) 69 68 73, O Stark (Swe) 69 72 69,
211 E Johansen (Nor) 71 69 71, M Foster (Eng) 69 75 67, S Kjeldsen (Den) 69 73 69,
212 A Chesters (Eng) 71 72 69, K Johannessen (Nor) 71 74 67, T Pulkkanen (Fin) 67 76 69, N Colsaerts (Bel) 70 69 73, J Choi (Kor) 70 72 70, D Huizing (Ned) 71 70 71, B Ritthammer (Ger) 70 72 70, S Webster (Eng) 69 67 76, J Arnoy (Nor) 72 68 72,
213 J Winther (Den) 69 70 74, R McGowan (Eng) 69 70 74, O Farr (Wal) 69 72 72, P Khongwatmai (Tha) 71 73 69, H Sturehed (Swe) 73 71 69, D Papadatos (Aus) 76 65 72, B Stow (Eng) 74 71 68, J Hansen (Den) 72 68 73, A Pavan (Ita) 70 70 73