These three have five wins between them this season and fired rounds of 67 to get to -5 and lead the way from countryman Richard McEvoy, Swede Joakim Lagergren, American David Lipsky, France's Mike Lorenzo-Vera and another Frenchman in Alexander Levy, who had to complete the last on Friday after play was suspended due to darkness.
Much to the amazement of the gallery flanking the green, Pepperell's ball pitched inches short of the hole, ricocheted off the flagstick up towards the flag itself, then pitched again just short of the hole and spun forward into the bottom of the cup.
'I played terrible in the pro-am on Wednesday, probably the worst I have in a while and wouldn't say I played great today but had that really hot run and it's great to be at the top.' Fleetwood's own round was not without incident, with his only bogey of the day coming after an errant tee shot on the par-three 17th finished in a cup holder in a buggy which had been parked to the left of the green.
Pepperell can gain added confidence from his maiden European Tour victory in Qatar earlier this year, and he insists he will not be overawed by the pressures of leading the tournament on the final day.
"I think I've made quite a big stride mentally the last 18 months", Pepperell said. 'It was one of the nicest things anyone has ever said to me as a golfer and I'm going to use it to fuel the fire, ' he said. "I'm really happy where I'm at". "I didn't see any shots that frightened me and it's about time I kicked on and won another event". "I basically three-putted Nos".
Francesco Molinari, who is the current leader of the European Tour's Race to Dubai, birdied his first two holes of the day but fell away as he finished 1 over for the day.
"I've seen other guys make them every other week and always thought, 'I feel like I hit good iron shots but have never made one'".
"You have bad days but that's the nature of the game and I'm not going to dwell on it too much".
And World No 2 and tournament host Justin Rose also failed to make much of an impact, a 723 leaving him mired on two over, 10 shots back.