Parel grabs lead at Air Capital Classic

Scott Parel carded a 4-under 67 on Saturday to grab the lead at the end of the third round of the Air Capital Classic.

Parel finished 54 holes at Crestview Country Club at 11-under-par 202, which was a stroke ahead of Steve Wheatcroft (68).

"I just put myself in position to have a chance," said Parel. "You have to take advantage because you don't know how many chances you're going to get."

Paul Claxton fired an 8-under 63 and Chris Thompson shot 64 to jump into a share of third place with five other players at 9-under.

They are joined by Franklin Corpening (65), Alex Aragon (65), Camilo Benedetti (67), Bhavik Patel (69) and Alex Prugh (70).

Aron Price (64), Dustin Garza (68), Peter Malnati (70) and Kevin Tway (70) are tied for 10th place at minus-8, three shots off the pace. Second-round leader Nathan Tyler stumbled to a 3-over 74 on Saturday to fall into a share of 14th at 7-under.

Claxton, Thompson, Corpening and Aragon were among those that teed off earlier in the day, and all were already in the clubhouse with the lead at 9-under before Parel pulled ahead of the pack with birdies at the first, third and sixth to move to minus-10.

He could not hang on, however, as a bogey at the seventh dropped him out of the top spot.

Patel, meanwhile, traded birdies at the first, third and sixth with bogeys at the second and seventh to reach 8-under, then poured in back-to-back birdies at the ninth and 10th to gain sole possession of first.

Parel joined him atop the leaderboard with a birdie at the 11th.

Patel again moved ahead with a gain at the 14th, but quickly gave that shot back with a bogey at the 15th to fall back into a tie with Parel.

Parel then grabbed the lead for good with an eagle at the 14th to move to 12- under.

His lead over Patel dipped to a stroke after a bogey at the 16th, but Patel could not take advantage and dropped a shot at the last to finish two strokes off the pace.

"You always want to be in the final group," Parel said about Sunday's final round. "You want to be with the leaders because if you have to catch somebody you want to be watching them."

Wheatcroft had earlier raced out to 11-under with four straight birdies from the first, but quickly gave all of those strokes back with bogeys at the fifth, sixth, eighth and ninth to make the turn at 7-under.

He stopped the slide with a birdie at the 10th and after parring his next seven holes, closed with an eagle at the 18th to grab sole possession of second.

NOTES: Parel is seeking his first career win on the Tour ... Parel had made just three cuts in 10 previous events this year, and his best finish was a tie for 34th at last week's Mid-Atlantic Championship ... The final round will be played in threesomes off split tees starting at 9:00 a.m. ET, due to the threat of thunderstorms on Sunday.