Ben Martin, chasing his first PGA title since 2014, and compatriot Patrick Rodgers, chasing his first tour win, shared the lead after round three of the RSM Classic on Saturday.
Rodgers scored four straight birdies off the back nine en route to a six-under par 64 at Sea Island Golf Club on St. Simons Island, Georgia.
“It was a great day out there,” said Rodgers. “I’m just excited to put together some good laps and it was fun to get out there on the back nine.”
Martin missed a five-yard par putt at 18, made his first bogey in 41 holes to settle for 65, and joined Rodgers at 14-under 198 for 54 holes.
“It was just the way you want to draw a round of golf,” Martin said. “I hit my targets off the tee, gave myself plenty of chances on the greens and saw a few putts go in.”
Canada starter Adam Svensson made a birdie on six of his last eight holes to fire a 62 to tie for third on 199 with Americans Andrew Putnam and Sahith Theegala.
A pack of 200 included Canadian Taylor Pendrith and Americans Harry Higgs, Brian Harman, Alex Smalley, Taylor Montgomery, Kevin Streelman and Beau Hossler.
Players competed for two rounds on the par-72 Plantation course and par-70 Seaside course, with the final 36 holes over the Seaside layout.
World No. 372 Martin, whose only PGA win came in 2014 in Las Vegas, birdied the fourth, par-3 sixth and par-5 seventh from between seven and three yards.
Martin dropped his approach to 1 yard to put up a birdie on 10, sank a 4-yard birdie putt on 14 and drove the green on the par-5 15th to put up a tap-in birdie moves, but lost the lead after coming up short of the green from the fairway on 18.
“I would have liked to have kept a clean card there,” said Martin. “It was a good Saturday. I’m just excited to be in the mix on Sunday.”
World No. 169 Rodgers earned three career-best second-place finishes in his eighth PGA campaign, most recently at Sea Island in 2018.
After a bogey on the second, he made a birdie on the fourth and fifth, then closed out the front nine with another and made four in a row, starting with a 22-foot birdie putt on 13 and capped by a 30- footer on the 16th.
“It’s always nice to see the hard work pay off,” said Rodgers.
Harman, who shot 64, could be the first resident of the host resort to win the title.
“There is a lot of talent on this island and one of us is going to win this tournament sooner or later,” said Harman. “Excited to go after it tomorrow.”
American Wyndham Clark scored a PGA career-best six consecutive birdies to close out the top nine en route to a 66 to rank at 202.