Brendon Todd carded a 2-under 69 on Saturday to grab a 1-stroke lead at the Stadion Classic at UGA.
Todd, who held a share of the lead at the end of the first round, finished 54 holes at University of Georgia Country Club at 8-under-par 205. He is trying to become the third straight Georgia alum to win this tournament.
"To win here in Athens would be really special," Todd said.
Tim Wilkinson (70) sits alone in second at 7-under, while Nick Rousey (66) fired the low round of the day to vault himself into sole possession of third at minus-6.
Alexandre Rocha (68) occupied fourth place at 5-under.
Todd and Wilkinson both entered the day a stroke behind second-round co- leaders Michael Putnam and Russell Knox, but took advantage of the leaders' struggles to jump ahead as Putnam and Knox each posted a round over par.
Wilkinson was the first to move ahead with a birdie at the second.
Todd, playing in the same group as Wilkinson, tripped to a bogey at the third to fall two strokes back, but recovered with a birdie at the seventh.
Wilkinson regained his 2-stroke edge with a birdie at the eighth before stumbling to a bogey at the 10th.
Todd, however, reeled off a trio of birdies at 12th, 15th and 17th to take a 1-stroke lead at 9-under as Wilkinson could manage just a birdie at the 13th.
Both players bogeyed the last to keep it a 1-stroke edge heading into the final round.
"I was a little disappointed to make bogey on 18, but overall I made a nice couple of birdies coming in and that made it not sting as much," said Todd. "I knew there wouldn't be anything bad that could come from leading after today."
Rousey started on the back nine and opened with a pair of pars before starting to make his run up the leaderboard with birdies at the 12th and 14th.
After parring his next five holes, he picked up another shot at the second to move to 4-under.
He then rolled in back-to-back birdies at the fifth and sixth, and added another at the eighth to reach 7-under.
But he closed with a bogey at the last to drop back to minus-6.
"I made some nice par saves. I kept hitting greens and being patient, and it all worked out in my favor," stated Rousey.
NOTES: Hudson Swafford and Russell Henley were the previous two winners at this event ... Tee times for the fourth round were pushed back to 11:00 a.m. through 12:50 p.m. due to anticipated overnight and early morning thunderstorms ... Todd's 8-under represents the highest 54-hole lead in tournament history ... The lowest was Paul Gow's record 18-under through 54 holes in 2006 at Jennings Mill Country Club.