Svoboda grabs share of Chiquita Classic lead

Andrew Svoboda birdied his final two holes on Saturday to snare a share of the lead entering the final round of the Chiquita Classic.

Svoboda, who already earned his 2013-2014 PGA Tour card by finishing inside the top 25 on the Tour money list, carded a 3-under-par 69 in the third round to join John Peterson at 10-under 206 through 54 holes.

"Anywhere around the lead is nice," said Svoboda. "It was really nice to finish with those two birdies."

Peterson, who is playing for one of the 25 available PGA Tour cards, shot 5- under 67 at River Run Country Club.

Second-round leader Greg Owen shot 71 and dropped into a tie for third place at 9-under 207. The Englishman stands alongside Troy Matteson (67) and Peter Malnati (69).

This is the second event of the Tour finals. The field is primarily comprised of the top 75 on the money list and Nos. 126 - 200 in the PGA Tour's FedExCup standings. The top 25 from the regular season Tour money list already have their PGA Tour cards for next season, but are still playing for priority ranking. The next available 25 from the finals series money list will also earn their PGA Tour cards for next season.

Owen, Matteson and Malnati all led during the third round, but both Svoboda and Peterson rallied late to seize the top spot.

Peterson was the first to do so, as he shook off a pedestrian start around the turn.

After playing his first nine hole at even par, Peterson knocked his approach to tap-in range for birdie at the 10th, then did the same at the 11th to reach 7-under for the tournament.

He drained a 25-footer for birdie at the 13th, then sent his approach within two feet at the 16th and kicked that in for another birdie.

At the par-5 last, Peterson found the green in two, rolled his eagle putt within a foot and knocked that in to reach 10-under, vaulting Owen, Matteson and Malnati in the process.

"I was hitting good shots on the front and a bunch were in that 10 to 12-foot range,"Peterson said. "I kept hitting it close and finally hit it close enough where it was hard to miss. I can make it from three feet, I just couldn't make it from 10 feet today."

Svoboda was next.

He had a pair of birdies during his bogey-free outward nine, then tripped to a bogey at the 11th. After parring his next five holes, Svoboda rolled home a bending 15-footer for birdie at the 17th to reach 9-under.

Another tricky birdie putt, this time a downhill, 20-footer at the last, allowed Svoboda to join Peterson in the lead entering the final round.

NOTES: Svoboda played 18 events on the PGA Tour this season and finished at No. 202 on the FedExCup points list. He played just eight events on the Tour and won the Price Cutter Charity Championship in August ... Peterson's best finish on the Tour this season was third at the Cox Classic ... Aaron Watkins recorded a a hole-in-one with a 9-iron at the par-3 fourth.