South Africa’s Dylan Frittelli joined a four-way tie at the top of the Valero Texas Open third-round leaderboard on Saturday.
Brandt Snedeker and Beau Hossler shot five-under-par 67s to leave them on 10 under, alongside Frittelli and journeyman JJ Spaun in San Antonio.
Spaun, who carded a three-under-par 69, missed a golden chance to take sole possession of the lead but was left ruing a bogey six on the par-five 18th.
Scott Stallings, who also carded a five-under-par 67, is one off the lead on nine under, one ahead of veteran Matt Kuchar on eight under.
A cluster of nine players, including South Korea’s Kim Si-woo and England’s Aaron Rai, are tied for seventh on seven under.
The crowded field sets the stage for a tense final round at TPC San Antonio on Sunday, where a place in next week’s Masters field at Augusta will be at stake in addition to a $1.55 million winner’s cheque.
None of the top six players on the leaderboard after Saturday’s third round are in the field at Augusta.
Snedeker moved into contention on Saturday after a late flurry of three birdies over the closing five holes.
The 41-year-old, chasing his first PGA Tour win since victory at the 2018 Wyndham Championship, said he hopes to draw on his experience on Sunday.
“I’ll pull on all those years of experience out here, get ready to relish the challenge,” Snedeker said.
“Tomorrow’s not going to be easy, it never is to win a golf tournament. So knowing that going into it hopefully gives me a little leg up.”
Hossler meanwhile staged a similar late charge to join the leaders, with a trio of birdies on the 14th, 15th and 16th holes to move to 10 under 206 through 54 holes.
It is reminiscent of Hossler’s 2018 Texas Open campaign when he was among the co-leaders after three rounds and ultimately lost to Ian Poulter in a playoff after a triple bogey on the first extra hole.
“I’ve just got to take it one step at a time tomorrow, try to get the ball in the fairway on the first hole, hit the green and hopefully get a couple things to my way, play a solid round of golf and I think I’ll be right there,” Hossler said.
Spaun, meanwhile, shrugged off the disappointment of his last-hole bogey that cost him a one-shot lead.
The 31-year-old world No 242 is optimistic he can hang with the leaders through the final round.
“I’m feeling good,” Spaun said. “If you told me on Tuesday ‘Hey, you’re going to be tied for the lead going into Sunday’ I would totally take it.
“Yeah, bogey on the last hole, but I think it could have been worse. So I’m not too bummed out about that. Just something I can learn from tomorrow.”
© Agence France-Presse