Denmarks Thomas Bjorn and Swedens Niclas Fasth both equaled the Fota Island Course record by shooting 8-under 63s. They share top honors with Dane Soren Hansen, who shot 64.
The trio stands at 11-under-par 202. Twenty-seven players are tied or within four strokes of the lead entering the final round. Richard Bland fired a 63 to finish at 10-under. The Englishman is tied for fourth place along with South African Darren Fichardt (64), Argentine Eduardo Romero (66) and Germanys Alex Cejka (69).
Between them, the leaders totaled 21 birdies and three eagles Saturday ' all before a massive crowd of nearly 28,000.
Despite the slew of red numbers, overnight leader Peter OMalley managed only a 73 to fall into a tie for 17th, at 7-under. Three-time champion Colin Montgomerie also fell from contention by shooting 74. The Scot is now six back.
Bjorn and Fasth played alongside each other in round three, giving European Ryder Cup Captain Sam Torrance something to chew on come September's matches.
If we played like that it would take a lot to stand up to us, said a smiling Bjorn. Thats for Sam to decide whether we play together but we get on well.
Said Fasth: 'Obviously, we were feeding off each other. There were very, very few mistakes out there.'
Bjorn has yet to win this season, but insisted he was one good round away from finding his form.
Ive been through a rough time and not living up to the expectations I have on myself, he said. I just need to stick my head down more and enjoy being in this position again.
Fasth gained notability by finishing runner-up in last years Open Championship at Royal Lytham & St. Annes. He, too, is vying for win No. 1 this season, as is Hansen.
Full-field scores from the Murphy's Irish Open