Sonoma:Denis Watson shot a 4-under 68 on Saturday to take a one-stroke lead over defending champion Jim Thorpe and Brad Bryant into the final round of the Champion Tour's season-ending Charles Schwab Championship.
Watson, a two-time winner this year, had five birdies but fought his game all afternoon.
He trailed by two strokes after 13 holes and went into No 18 a shot behind Thorpe, the 2003 and 2006 winner.
But Thorpe made a double bogey on the 412-yard, par-4 final hole to finish with a 69.
Watson had a 15-under 201 total.
Bryant, one of four players in contention for the Charles Schwab Cup race for a $1 million (euro700,000 million) annuity, matched his best round of the tournament, a 67 to close the gap behind Watson.
Bryant, who trails Loren Roberts in the Cup race by 697 points, can become just the second player to win both the season-finale and the Cup championship in the same season and needs to win on Sunday to have a chance. He will need some help.
After struggling through the first two rounds and beginning Saturday with three bogeys in four holes to fall to 1 under, Roberts rebounded on the back nine with five birdies for a 69.
At 6-under 210, Roberts was tied for 18th place. Jay Haas, 165 points behind Roberts, shot a 71 to reach 7 under.