The Irishman signed for a remarkable 7-under 65 at the Albatross course in Prague to jump to 17-under and tied for top spot with Italy’s Andrea Pavan.
Harrington last held a share of the 54-hole lead at a European Tour event in 2009 at the WGC Bridgestone event in Ohio but clearly hasn’t forgotten the pressures of being in contention.
“I feel like it was a day too early,” he said bluntly of his bogey free Saturday.
“It took a lot out of me, a lot of focus and I holed the putts that you’d like to be holing on a Sunday.
“I’m hoping there’s still another round in it but it was certainly one of those days that you’d like to get on a Sunday afternoon rather than a Saturday afternoon.”
Harington and Pavan are three ahead of nearest challenger Gavin Green of Malaysia with only seven players within five shots of the pair.
Now 47, Harrington knows what to expect come Sunday and is prepared for all eventualities.
“You’ve got to go out there expecting a roller coaster, you’d love it not to be but that’s what you’ve got to prepare yourself for - that you’ll make some mistakes mentally, you’ll get good and bad breaks, you’ll hole some putts and you’ll miss some,” he said.
“It’s too much to dream of a nice perfect day so we’ll prepare ourselves for a bit of everything.
“In my mind I was trying to rationalise that I’ve got to get 20 under par for the tournament and obviously I got quite a long way down that road.
“We’re (he and Pavan) three ahead of the pack so hopefully we move ahead and get out there and have good front nines and have it as a duel between the two of us.
“That would the nice scenario but it very rarely is the nice scenario on a Sunday.”
Adam Band is the best of the Australians through three rounds, the South Australian 9-under and sharing 16thplace.
Jason Scrivener is 6-under and T46,one ahead of Lucas Herbert and Nick Cullen who are T52.
Scott Hend is the last of the Australians to qualify for the weekend but endured a horror Saturday with a 7-over 79 to be in last place at 3-over for the week.
GEORGIA HALL'S NO TAKEAWAY PUTTING DRILL:
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