Francesco Molinari fired a third-round 67 to take a one-shot lead into the final round of the Scottish Open.
The Italian, who enjoyed a bogey-free round, leads Denmark's Anders Hansen - with fellow Dane Soren Kjeldsen and Scotland's Marc Warren a shot behind.
Four-time major winner Phil Mickelson is in contention at 14 under, along with Peter Whiteford and Martin Laird.
"I could have gone a few shots better but it was a solid day and I'm feeling good," Molinari told BBC Sport.
The Italian, who hit five birdies on Saturday, added: "I didn't make the mistakes of Friday but there is still a long way to go. It is meant to be more windy on Sunday, so hopefully I'll be up for it."
It keeps him on course to emulate the victory by his brother Edoardo two years ago.
But it was Mickelson who was the biggest mover of the day with the American charging all the way to joint fifth after adding a third-round 65 to Friday's 64.
Among the players he leapfrogged was world number one and defending champion Luke Donald, but he still trails Molinari by three shots.
Mickelson made a slow start, negotiating the front nine in 35 shots, but then had six birdies coming home in 30.
Eight days ago the 42-year-old was not even going to be in Inverness, but after a run of seven successive rounds over par and a missed cut at the Greenbrier Classic, Mickelson decided to change plans.
"I should have had it planned out originally, but there was a chance to take the kids to Italy," he said.
"I'm very pleased and excited. Given my three previous events it would have been asking a lot to get ready for Thursday (the start of The Open) if I hadn't played here.
"This course is so good at getting you ready for playing links golf. It does not beat you up so much."
Englishman Donald returned a 68 containing seven birdies, but also three bogeys, and he is four shots off the lead along with Peter Lawrie.
Scotland's Warren looks the best bet for a home winner and qualificaion for the Open Championship after a joint best-of-the-day 64.
"If that happens it would be great," said the 31-year-old, who only last month played the first major of his life at the US Open.