The day reflected Lanny Wadkins' season, but when it was over he couldn't believe where he was.
Wadkins holed out from off the green three times to produce an erratic even-par 70 Saturday and gain a share of the third-round lead in the $700,000 NEC World Series of Golf at Akron, Ohio.
"It was a struggle all day," said Wadkins, who needed only 21 putts--seven on the back nine. "It was a lot more work than I wanted it to be. The way I played, I don't even mind that bogey on the last hole.
"Getting a 70 was like stealing. I got the most out of my round I possibly could. I've got to go out and find a golf game tomorrow and hope I have a little more fun than I did today."
The former Wake Forest golfer was PGA Player of the Year in 1985 but has struggled this season after being among the leaders in the Los Angeles Open early in the year before fading on the final day.
Wadkins was tied with Dan Pohl, who had a 71, at 206.
Donnie Hammond, who had a share of the lead the first two rounds, slipped to a 73 that included a string of three consecutive bogeys on the back side and was at 207.
All three leaders, who played in the final threesome, bogeyed the last hole after a 20-minute rain delay.
Jack Nicklaus stayed in contention with a 69 that left him at 209.
"I don't think I hit a green on the back side, but I made every putt I looked at," said Nicklaus, who has won this title five times.
Nicklaus was tied for fourth with Bernhard Langer (71) of West Germany, South African Bobby Cole (68), John Mahaffey (72) and Corey Pavin (70). British Open titleholder Greg Norman of Australia had a 72 for a total of 211.
PGA champion Bob Tway scored an eagle 3 on the second hole and made a hole-in-one with a 6-iron on the par-3 fifth in a round of 66. He was six shots back at 212.
Curtis Strange hit into the woods and the water on the 16th hole and took a 10 on the way to an 80.
Chris Endres of Glendale, Ariz., and Don Levin of Elk Grove, Calif., shot four-under-par 68s to tie for the third-round lead at 205 in the 15th Queen Mary Open at Lakewood Country Club.
Jeff Wilson of Vallejo was one shot back after a 69, and Jay Don Baker of St. George, Utah, was at 207 following a 71. Two-time defending champion Ernie Gonzalez of San Diego also had a 71 and was in a four-way tie at 208.
In the amateur division, 17-year-old Carito Villaroman was seven shots ahead after a 70, just five shots behind Endres and Levin.
Patti Rizzo shot a three-under-par 68 to tie Juli Inkster for the second-round lead of the $225,000 Atlantic City LPGA tournament at Galloway Township, N.J.
Rizzo had four birdies and a bogey to pull even at 138 with Inkster, the first-round leader, who matched par with a 71.
Laurie Rinker carded a 69 and was two strokes back at 140. Beth Daniel had a 71 to come in at 141, along with Judy Dickinson, who had a 72.
Bobby Nichols and Curt Byrum moved back into the lead of the PGA Seniors Showdown tournament with a round of 12-under-par 61 at Jeremy Ranch, Utah.
Byrum had a round of 64, including two eagles, to lead his team to a score of 29-under-par 187.
Don January and Brian Claar were one shot back, with Bob Goalby (63) and Jay Haas (64) two shots behind heading into today's final round.
Lionel Hebert and Leonard Thompson tied the course record with a 13-under par 59. Harold Henning and Denis Watson tied another record with a nine-under-par 27 on the front side.