Jones alone in front at Champions Q-School

Gene Jones shot 4-under-par 68 on Thursday to grab sole possession of the lead after three rounds of the Champions Tour Q-School.

Jones shared the overnight lead with Bobby Clampett, who stumbled to a 77 on Thursday to fall into a tie for 16th place at 2-under 214.

Mark Mouland shot 66 to move into second place at 7-under, while Jeff Brehaut (72) sits alone in third at minus-6.

Esteban Toledo, Jeff Hart, Jim Rutledge, P.H. Horgan III and Chie-Hsiang Lin share fourth place at 5-under, while Peter Fowler and David Peoples reside in ninth at minus-4.

The top-5 finishers in this tournament will receive full exemptions on the Champions Tour next season, while the next seven finishers (Nos. 6-12) will get conditional status for 2013. Additionally, the top-30 finishers will be eligible to compete for spots in open qualifiers at all co-sponsored events.

Defending champion Jeff Freeman is back in the field after ending in 61st place on the Champions Tour money list this season. He is currently 2-under after carding rounds of 74, 69 and 71.

Damon Green, who caddies for Zach Johnson on the PGA Tour, shared the first-round lead with Clampett but has since dropped to 2-under.

Jones, who made five Champions Tour starts this year, picked up three strokes over his first 10 holes on Thursday before stumbling to consecutive bogeys on Nos. 12 and 13.

The 55-year-old recovered with three birdies in his final four holes.

NOTES: The $200,000 purse for this event will be divided amongst the top-30 finishers, with first place garnering $30,000 ... Of the 78 golfers in the field this week, 14 have won on the PGA Tour.