Carl Pettersson will take a two-shot advantage over Scott McCarron into the final round of the Wyndham Championship following another benign day at Sedgefield.
Pettersson, who carded a magnificent 61 in Friday’s second round to take the halfway lead, backed it up with a generally tidy four-under-par 66 to take his cumulative total to 19-under 191, two strokes clear of McCarron (64).
Briny Baird (62), Kevin Streelman (67) and Garrett Willis (71) were tied for third six strokes behind Pettersson on 13 under.
Pettersson, a North Carolina-based Swede, parred the first four holes before making eagle at the par-five fifth, where he hit his second shot to four feet.
His only blemish came at the par-five 15th, which he bogeyed after three-putting from inside four feet.
McCarron, still playing his way back after major elbow surgery two years ago, finished in style with a birdie at the last, where he holed a 45-foot bunker shot.
Pettersson, a two-time PGA Tour winner, was frustrated with his round after he failed to extend his lead.
“It was probably the worst score I could have shot,” he said.
“I had so many chances today. I just didn’t convert the putts. It’s tough to play the day after you shoot 61.
“Unless you get off to a really hot start, you feel like you’re behind the eight-ball. I kept telling myself that today.”
McCarron was pleased with his bogey-free round, which was highlighted when he holed from a difficult bunker shot on the 18th.
“It was probably the only spot I didn’t want to be in. I had a downhill bunker shot, downhill lie,” he said.
“I played well again today. I drove it in the fairway quite a few times, hit a lot of greens and was able to make a few putts.”
The 43-year-old Californian is on the comeback trail after missing the entire 2007 due to major elbow surgery.
“I wasn’t sure if I could continue doing this because you never know when you have an injury like that if you can make it back, especially to play at this level,” he said, adding that he was now “100% healed”.
Baird made the day’s biggest move, shooting 62 despite bogeying the first hole.
He stormed home in 28 strokes, picking up seven birdies on the inward half, including at the final four holes.
With little wind, the pros again plundered the historic Donald Ross layout, averaging 68.5 strokes.
Pettersson and McCarron know they will have to keep attacking in the final round.
“Somebody is probably going to shoot 62 tomorrow and come out of the pack, so Scott and I are both going to have to go low,” said Pettersson.
A Pettersson victory would lift him into serious consideration for the European Ryder Cup team, even though he has lived half his life in the United States.