American Ryan Palmer carved out a one-shot lead despite bogeying three of the last five holes in a grueling third round of the Byron Nelson Championship in Irving, Texas, on Saturday.
On a difficult day for scoring in gusting winds at the TPC Four Seasons Resort Las Colinas, Palmer battled to a three-over par 73 for a five-under total of 205.
Playing partner Sergio Garcia had been tied for the lead overnight with Palmer, but the Spaniard dropped one stroke off the pace after toiling to a four-bogey 74.
India’s Arjun Atwal, among the earlier starters, fired a best-of-the-day 67 to share third place at three under with Japan’s Ryuji Imada (70).
Americans Gary Woodland (68), Joe Ogilvie (72) and Matt Kuchar (68) were a further stroke back at the end of a sweltering afternoon with winds gusting up to 63kph on a firm and fast-running layout.
Only eight players in the 74-strong field carded sub-par scores in the third round when the scoring average was 73.338.
Garcia, who won the most recent of his seven PGA Tour titles at the 2008 Players Championship, began the day level with Palmer at eight under overall.