Jason Dufner shot a 5-under-par 67 on Saturday to take a two-shot lead over Graham DeLaet after the third round of the PGA Tour's Zurich Classic.
Winless in 163 starts on tour, Dufner lost playoffs last year to Mark Wilson in the Phoenix Open and Keegan Bradley in the PGA Championship for two of his three career runner-up finishes. The former Auburn star had a 17-under 199 total at TPC Louisiana.
Trying to overcome a recent string of weekend collapses, Dufner birdied three of the first four holes to get to 15 under, holing a 50-foot putt on the par-4 fourth and a 25-footer on the par-4 fifth.
After dropping a stroke on the par-4 sixth, he birdied the par-5 seventh and got to 17 under with birdies on the par-4 15th and par-5 18th. He has played the 18th in 4 under through three rounds.
DeLaet shot a 66. He birdied three of the final six holes. Ernie Els and John Rollins were 14 under. Els shot a 68, and Rollins had a 69.
Ryan Palmer tied the course record with a 64 to join Steve Stricker and Cameron Tringale at 13 under. Tringale had a 68, and Stricker a 69.
Second-ranked Luke Donald was 12 under after a 66. He needs to finish at least solo seventh to regain the top spot from Rory McIlroy.
Defending champ Bubba Watson, playing in his first event since winning the Masters, was 9 under after a 65. He opened with consecutive 71s to make the cut by a stroke.
LPGA: Stacy Lewis birdied five of her last seven holes to shoot a 5-under 67 and take a two-stroke lead over Seminole's Brittany Lincicome into the final round of the Mobile Bay LPGA Classic.
Lewis, the 2011 Kraft Nabisco Championship winner, finished strong again to hang on to her second-round lead.
Lincicome had six birdies — three in a row from Nos. 4-6 — and one bogey during her round of 67.
Karine Icher shot a 68 and is three strokes back, while Sun Young Yoo and Lindsey Wright both had 69s and are at 10 under.
Six others, including 17-year-old Lexi Thompson, were within five shots of Lewis' 14-under 202 total on The Crossings course at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail's Magnolia Grove complex.
Karrie Webb also is among that group after tying the tournament record with a 64 matched a day earlier by Karin Sjodin.