Dan Pohl came from nine shots off the pace with a bogey-free 65 Saturday and muscled his way into a four-way tie for the lead after three rounds of the $1.3-million Las Vegas Invitational.
Pohl, fresh from a 16-day layoff, completed three rounds--one each over three desert resort courses--in 205, 11 under par.
He left the Desert Inn Country Club without knowing he was tied for the lead going into the final round of the chase for the $225,000 first prize.
Hal Sutton, playing at Spanish Trail, was three shots ahead of the field at one point, but he four-putted from 35 feet for a double-bogey on the 15th hole.
He was still one in front when Pohl finished play.
But Sutton gave back another shot when he dumped his second shot into the water on the 18th and dropped back into a tie with Pohl, rookie Ken Perry and Scotland's Ken Brown.
Defending champion Greg Norman made what he called "a dumb mistake," after he hit into the water on the 18th hole at the Las Vegas Country Club.
Norman was eight-under for the tournament at the time and figured he needed to get to nine to have a chance to make a successful defense of his title.
But his second shot caught the pond on the par-5 finishing hole, and he wound up with a bogey for a 67 that left him at 209, four shots back.
Sutton's last-hole lapse left him with a round of 72. Brown had a 70 at Spanish Trail, and Perry shot 70 at the Desert Inn.
A single stroke back at 206 were former champion Curtis Strange, Andy Magee and South African David Frost. Frost and Strange had 67s in the windy weather and Magee shot 69, all at Desert Inn.
Cindy Hill and Jan Stephenson both birdied the 18th hole to take a one-stroke lead over four other golfers after three rounds of the $225,000 S&H tournament at St. Petersburg, Fla.
Hill, sidelined for the last nine weeks with a pancreas ailment, sank a three-foot putt on the last hole to finish with a 69. Stephenson rolled in an eight-footer to complete a 70. That left the co-leaders with 54-hole totals of 11-under-par 205.
Rookie Donna Cusano-Wilkins, who held a two-shot lead until she double-bogeyed the 16th hole, led a quartet of players at 10-under 206 after a 70 on the par-72, 6,013-yard Pasadena Yacht & Country Club course.
Kathy Postlewait and M.J. Smith shot 68 and 70, respectively, to join Cusano-Wilkins at one shot off the pace. Second-round co-leader Myra Blackwelder, seven months pregnant, birdied the last hole for a 71.
Unheralded Texas pro Jimmy Powell shot a four-under-par 68 and a share of the lead with veterans Dale Douglass and Bobby Nichols after two rounds of the Sunwest Bank-Charley Pride Seniors tournament at Albuquerque, N.M.
The three leaders are at five-under-par 139 heading into today's final round of the $250,000, 54-hole tournament.