Collins, Putnam share lead at Mid-Atlantic Championship

Chad Collins and Michael Putnam posted matching even-par 70s on Saturday and took advantage of a precipitous fall by second- round leader Hudson Swafford to grab a share the lead of the Mid-Atlantic Championship.

Swafford held a 3-stroke lead entering the third round, but stumbled to a 7- over 77 to drop well off the pace.

Collins and Putnam finished 54 holes at TPC Potomac at Avenal Farm at 5-under- par 205.

"Today was supposed to be moving day, but I think the course played harder than the first two days," stated Collins. "The course played long because some tees were pushed back and the hole locations were really tough. The pins were tucked in corners and on ridges and bumps and humps. It was hard to shoot a low number."

Putnam is seeking his second straight win after capturing the Mexico Championship last week, while Collins will try and capture his third career victory.

Sung Kang (71) sits in third place at 4-under and is trailed by Daniel Chopra (67) at minus-3.

Tim Wilkinson recorded the low round of the day with a 5-under 65 to grab share of fifth place with Scott Dunlap (70), Jim Herman (71) and Chesson Hadley (67) at 2-under.

Swafford split a pair of birdies at the third and fifth around a bogey at the fourth to sit at 1-under on the day before beginning his descent down the leaderboard with bogeys at the seventh and ninth.

He was still in the lead at that point, but a double bogey at the par-4 11th dropped him to 4-under and handed the lead to Collins, who traded an early birdie at the second with a bogey at the third to remain at minus-5.

Swafford later closed with four bogeys over his final five holes to finish at even par for the tournament and slip into a tie for 13th place.

Putnam, meanwhile, bounced back from a double bogey at the fifth and a bogey at the seventh with gains at the eighth, 10th and 12th to join Collins in the lead.

"I saw the scores and I knew I wasn't out of it after seven," Putnam said about his early struggles.

Collins moved into the outright lead with a birdie at the 14th and maintained his advantage despite bogeying the 15th as Putnam tripped to a bogey at the 14th.

Collins would close with three straight pars to remain at 5-under, while Putnam birdied the 16th to meet Collins atop the leaderboard and ended his round with a couple of pars.

NOTES: Sunday's tee times will be played in threesomes off the 1st and 10th tees, and were pushed up to 7:22 a.m. (ET) in anticipation of possible afternoon thunderstorms ... Putnam is the leader of the Tour money list ... Putnam is trying to become the first person since Luke Guthrie to win in consecutive weeks on tour. Guthrie won the Albertsons Boise Open and the WNB Golf Classic last year ... Collins has held at least a share of the 54- hole lead four times in his career and gone on to win two of them ... Putnam has failed to convert two 54-hole leads into wins.