Two late birdies have given Troy Merritt a four-point lead going into the final round of the PGA Tour's Barracuda Championship.
A year ago Merritt gave up the final-round lead in the lone modified stableford scoring event on the tour.
On Saturday, had eight birdies and two bogeys on Tahoe Mountain Club's Old Greenwood Course for 14 points.
Players receive eight points for albatross, five for eagle, two for birdie, zero for par, minus-one for bogey and minus-three for double bogey or worse.
Tahoe Mountain is staging the event for the first time after 21 years at Montreux Golf and Country Club.
"Don't get beat again like last year when we had the lead after 54," Merritt said.
Seeking his third PGA Tour victory, the 34-year-old Merritt is on 33 points.
Maverick McNealy and Argentine Emiliano Grillo are tied for second.
Grillo had an 11-point round and McNealy scored 10 points.
"I'm very happy with the way I played today," McNealy said."
"I'm really excited and optimistic and, if my putter keeps going the way it's going, I'll have a chance."
His girlfriend, world No.4 Danielle Kang, is tied for the lead in Ohio in the LPGA Tour's return.
"It was pretty fun for the six or seven months that they were off, practising with a top-five player in the world and working with Butch Harmon," McNealy said.
Grillo, from Argentina, won his lone PGA Tour title in 2016.
Robert Streb is fourth with 28 points with Joseph Bramlett and Richy Werenski sharing fifth on 26 points.
Merritt has a spot next week in the PGA Championship in San Francisco, while many others are fighting for a position reserved for the tournament winner.
The top two from the top 10, not already eligible, will get spots in the US Open in September at Winged Foot.
Cameron Percy in the best-placed Australia but just three points on Saturday took him to 21 points - dropping from a share of eighth to tied 15th.
Cameron Davis is in a group on 16 points while Rhein Gibson is on 10 points.