A 63 in the third round catapulted rookie Austin Eckroat into a share of the lead heading into the final round of the AT&T Byron Nelson near Dallas as local favorite Scottie Scheffler fell back.
Eckroat, seeking his first PGA Tour victory and a berth in the USPGA Championship that begins at Oak Hill on Thursday, heads into the final round tied with Chinese Zecheng Dou and fellow American Ryan Palmer.
They have a two-shot cushion over Scheffler, former USPGA champion Jason Day, Si Woo Kim and Sweden’s Vincent Norrman with England’s Tyrrell Hatton among those a little further back.
Eckroat mixed in seven birdies and a double bogey on his first nine and was in no doubt what winning would mean.
“A lot of job security,” he said. “A lot of things come with winning a PGA Tour event and just hoping to do it.”
Palmer missed an eagle putt on the last to take an outright lead, while Dou, playing at his home course TPC Craig Ranch after settling in Dallas, shot a 64 after contrasting opening rounds of 63 and 70.
“There’s a lot more golf to play, so I’m good in a position like this, creating more chances. That’s all I’m thinking about,” she said.
World number two Scheffler opened with a par 64 and missed a short birdie putt to take a two-shot lead at 12, but squandered chances coming home before needing two tries to get out of a bunker. street on 18.
Hatton, the second-ranked player behind the 17-year-old Scheffler, entered the fray with three final birdies to complete a bogey-free 65 that leaves him alongside Sung Yang of South Korea and Americans Richy Werenski and Patton Kizzire.