American Harold Varner III shot a 68 in the third round of the Saudi International and will take a one-shot lead over Spain’s Adri Arnaus into Sunday’s finale.
The North Carolina native offset three dropped shots with an eagle and three birdies, including a final-hole gain to secure the 54-hole pole position on 12-under 198.
“Just hanging in there,” said Varner after his round at Royal Greens Golf & Country Club. “Really good pins today on 11, 12. So I just did a good job of just slowing down and just doing my job.
“I love competing. I mean, it’s the greatest thing in life is competing and just working at it.”
Arnaus, who was paired with Varner on Saturday, produced a 1-under 69 card, featuring four birdies against three bogeys, en route to an 11-under-par total.
Englishman Tommy Fleetwood was alone in third-place on 10 under, following a second consecutive round of 67. The Englishman was two clear of Aussie Cameron Smith (70), and three ahead of defending champion Dustin Johnson, who bounced back with a round of 67 to reach 7-under par.
Xander Schauffele (69) and Bubba Watson (70) were among a group of four players one further back on 6-under par.
Phil Mickelson carded a 1-over 71 and fell into a tie for 16th on 3 under.
Saudi International Leaderboard
Top-10: Round 3
Pos-Player-Score (Rd 3)
1. Harold Varner III -12 (-2)
2. Adri Arnaus -11 (-1)
3. Tommy Fleetwood -10 (-3)
4. Cameron Smith -8 (E)
5. Dustin Johnson -7 (-3)
5. Wade Ormsby -7 (-2)
5. Ryosuke Kinoshita -7 (-1)
8. Pablo Larrazabal -6 (-2)
8. Steve Lewton -6 (-1)
8. Xander Schauffele -6 (-1)
8. Bubba Watson -6 (E)