Sam Horsfield finished a second successive round top of the Hero Open leaderboard, but he will rue an alarming back nine that could give his chasers confidence heading into the final day in Birmingham.

Horsfield carded an exceptional nine-under 63 on Friday to share the lead with Sebastian Garcia-Rodriguez, but the Englishman charged ahead initially in the penultimate round.

Five birdies on an unblemished front nine had Horsfield looking destined for a commanding advantage, as he found himself in a six-shot lead.

But his form nose-dived after the turn, going four over par for the back nine, a score exacerbated by a double-bogey on the par-five 12th.

Oliver Farr and Mikko Korhonen both shot 67, while a 66 for Rasmus Hojgaard meant he joined that duo at just one stroke back of Horsfield at 13 under.

Chris Paisley and Garcia Rodriguez – who went one over for the round – are a further shot back, but will still fancy their chances on Sunday.

While Garcia Rodriguez endured a disappointing round, he can at least console himself with arguably the shot of the day, as he somehow found the green from behind a tree trunk despite the ball lying awkwardly close to a thick twig in heavy rough.

His compatriot Miguel Angel Jimenez, competing in a record 707th European Team event this week, slipped away further as he also went round in 73, giving him a score of seven-under heading into the final day.