(Reuters) – Cameron Tringale and Andrew Landry tied for the third-round lead at the John Deere Classic on Saturday as a big pack lurked close behind in Silvis, Illinois.
Americans Tringale and Landry, both aged 31, headed compatriots Bill Haas and Adam Schenk by one stroke, while four others trailed by two shots at TPC Deere Run.
More than victory is at stake on Sunday, when the winner will likely secure the final spot in next week’s British Open at Royal Portrush.
Nobody in the top eight is currently exempt for the final major of the year.
Tringale remained composed after bogeying the first hole and was rewarded with a six-under-par 65, while Landry shot 67.
They were at 16-under 197, while overnight leader Vegas plunged to eight shots behind with an error-strewn 76.
Tringale, without a win in 261 career starts on the PGA Tour, gained some confidence with a tie for fifth in Detroit two weeks ago.
“I just learned that my good golf is good enough and when I play well I can play with the best,” he told CBS television.
“I had a couple of down years and so to get in this position is exciting and re-proving to myself that I belong.”
Landry has one PGA Tour victory, while Haas, one stroke behind after matching the day’s best score of 64, has the best pedigree among those on the leaderboard, with six career victories.
He has not won since 2015, however, and knows he must play with equanimity on Sunday to have a chance of ending his four-year drought.
“Good play, it’s easy to be positive, but all the best players, not of them seem to let things bother them,” he said.
“It helps that they’re really, really good but at the same time I’ve got to somewhat go into tomorrow thinking I can win, approach every shot like I can pull it off and then see what happens.”
(Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; editing by Clare Fallon)