American Luke Guthrie stuttered with two bogeys in the last three holes but retained a share of the lead with Spain's Rafael Cabrera-Bello after the third round of the BMW Masters in Shanghai on Saturday.
Guthrie was four shots clear of the field halfway through his round but the late blip saw him card a 72.
"At the beginning of the week, if I was tied going into the fourth round tied for the lead, I'd have taken it," the world number 85 told reporters at the Lake Malaren Golf Club.
"As today went it was a little frustrating. When I made a couple of birdies, I seemed to step on my own foot a few times.
"Overall I was hitting it well, putting well, and just let a few shots get away toward the end and that's never fun really."
Cabrera-Bello started with two birdies and never looked back on his way to a flawless round of 67.
"Really happy to keep playing good and happy, also, to put a good round together and be in contention tomorrow," he said.
"I started with two birdies today, which was good. It gave me confidence straightaway, and then I just stayed calm, one shot at a time, and today it worked."
Cabrera-Bello's compatriot Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano also recorded a 67 to lie a stroke behind the leaders with Frenchman Gregory Bourdy a shot further back.
Former world number one Rory McIlroy made four consecutive birdies from the 10th hole on his way to a one-under 71 and a tie for 14th but was again undone by a final hole blip.
After bogeying the 18th on Friday, the mop-haired Northern Irishman this time dropped two shots at the last.
Fellow Briton Lee Westwood also had a disappointing finish with two bogeys over the closing two holes. Westwood is tied for 10th place, five shots behind the leaders