California - Brandt Snedeker, runner-up to Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson in the past two weeks, fired a four-under par 68 on Saturday to share the lead after 54 holes at the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.
Snedeker, a 32-year-old American who won last year's PGA playoff crown, stood alongside Korean-American PGA rookie James Hahn on 12-under 202 through three rounds in quest of a $1.15 million top prize at the $6.5 million event.
"It was a fun day. I played great start to finish," Snedeker said. "I had a couple hiccups in there but overall I played well. I've putted well the past two days. Left me a little bit today but hopefully it will be back tomorrow."
Pros played alongside amateurs, many of them celebrities in entertainment and sports, over three courses during the first three rounds before the cut ahead of Sunday's finish at Pebble Beach.
Snedeker, playing at Pebble Beach, birdied the par-5 second and answered a bogey at the par-3 fifth by finishing the front nine with four birdies in a row.
"I hit my irons really close on the front," Snedeker said. "I had 6- to 8-footers for birdies on the front. On the back I had birdie chances but couldn't convert them."
After a bogey at 10 and birdie at 11, Snedeker parred his way to the clubhouse.
"Only giving away one bogey coming in out here was a help," Snedeker said.
Hahn fired a bogey-free 66, six-under par, at Spyglass Hill to match Snedeker at the top.
Starting on the back nine, Hahn birdied the par-5 11th and 14th holes, added another at the par-4 17th and then closed the round with three birdies in a row to grab a share of the lead.
"My attitude (was great)," Hahn said. "I started off well, told myself I was going to give myself a lot of looks, 10 to 15 feet, and you have to make those putts."
Hahn, who played college golf at the nearby University of California, said that Sunday's round, the most important of his career to date, will be "just another day in the office for me. I'm just going to go out and have fun."
Hahn admitted he will feel the nerves, even with his brother serving as his caddie.
"Nervous means I care a lot," Hahn said. "I'm more excited than anything."
The 31-year-old, who was born in Seoul, did a "Gangnam-style" celebration dance last week after making a 20-foot, final-round birdie at Phoenix's rowdy 16th hole, adopting the moves that made Korean performer Psy a YouTube smash.
Hahn was saying he had pushed the bar high for a repeat dance show at Pebble Beach but said, "Maybe a winning putt on 18 might do a little something."
Hahn might have the chance to make one in the final group with Snedeker, who leads the US PGA Tour in scoring average and birdies but hopes not to settle for another second-best showing.
"I've got to take advantage of the opportunities I didn't today," Snedeker said. "In my view I saved them all up for tomorrow. You have to make those chances if you are going to win."
American Chris Kirk, whose lone PGA title came at the 2011 Viking Classic, fired a six-under 64 at the Monterey Peninsula Shore course to stand third, one stroke off the pace at 203.
Kirk, who began his third round on the back nine, birdied the par-5 12th to start a run of four birdies in five holes. He had back-to-back birdies at the second and third then answered a bogey at the par-3 seventh with a birdie at the par-3 ninth.
Defending champion Phil Mickelson slipped on wet rocks and fell on his rear at the 18th hole at Pebble Beach on his way to a triple-bogey 8 that dropped him out of contention.
"I got lucky I didn't get hurt," Mickelson said. "To finish with a triple, it didn't feel great. It was a fun day to play golf. I just wish I could have played better. That triple really just took me out of it."
Leading scores on Saturday after the third round of the US PGA Tour's
$6.5 million Pebble Beach National Pro-Am on the par-72 Pebble Beach
Golf Links, par-70 Monterey Peninsula Country Club, par-72 Spyglass Hill
Country Club (USA unless noted):
202 - Brandt Snedeker 66-68-68, James Hahn 71-65-66
203 - Chris Kirk 71-68-64
204 - Patrick Reed 68-69-67
205 - Richard Lee 68-71-66
- Retief Goosen (RSA) 71-68-67, Robert Garrigus 71-69-66, Jason Day
(AUS) 68-68-70, James Driscoll 72-67-67, Jimmy Walker 68-71-67
- Sean O'Hair 70-67-70, Luke Guthrie 68-70-69, Kevin Stadler 69-69-69,
Webb Simpson 71-71-65, Ted Potter 67-67-73, Fredrik Jacobson (SWE)
208 - Charlie Wi (KOR) 70-70-68, Hunter Mahan 66-69-73,
Alistair Presnell (AUS) 68-72-68, William McGirt 72-69-67, Matt Every
67-70-71, Kevin Na 68-72-68, Russell Knox (SCO) 64-73-71, Billy Horschel
70-71-67, Jordan Spieth 70-70-68, Patrick Cantlay 66-70-72
209 - Bill Lunde 71-70-68, Aaron Baddeley (AUS) 69-71-69, Scott Brown 72-68-69, John Merrick 68-67-74, Justin Hicks 71-68-70