European Seniors Tour Member Bernhard Langer held off Jay Haas' late run, which included a stunning eagle two on the Oak Hill Country Club's 17th hole, to take the lead after the third round of the US Senior PGA Championship.
The German, the current US Champions Tour money leader, finished with a level par 70 to put him at two over par 212 for the tournament, one shot clear of Haas and fellow American Jeff Sluman.
Eduardo Romero was the last European Seniors Tour Member to win a Senior Major Championship when he captured The Tradition last season, but the 2004 European Ryder Cup Captain is now a firm favourite to follow in his footsteps after an impressive week at the Rochester course.
Langer has been the most efficient player in the field by far after posting consecutive rounds of 71 over the first two days. He has also been one of the most consistent players in the Seniors genre this season, with two victories plus five top ten finishes in ten US Champions Tour appearances.
Add to that, the 1993 Masters Tournament Champion also showed he was still capable of competing at the highest level in the regular Tour after finishing in a tie for 15th in The Players Championship at Sawgrass earlier this month.
His third round was a model of consistency too with only one bogey and one birdie in his first 13 holes. He appeared to have a grasp of the tournament with back-to-back birdies at the 14th and 15th but he gave the shots back to the course with bogeys at the 16th and 17th.
Haas led the tournament after an opening 69 but dropped back after a 72 in the second round. But he leapfrogged back into contention thanks to his eagle two from the rough on the penultimate hole of the third round. Joint second placed Sluman looked set to take the lead into the final day but was undone by closing with three straight bogeys for a 70.
Scott Simpson and Bill Britton were tied for fourth on six over par 216 while Greg Norman was part of a four man group in a share of sixth on seven over par 217. Keeping the European Seniors Tour interest alive at the top end of the leaderboard was Romero himself who goes into the final round in a share of tenth place on nine over par 219.