Bernhard Langer and Mark McNulty are leading the European challenge in the US Senior PGA Championship lying four shots off the pace going into the final round after another tough day for scoring at Canterbury Golf Club.
American Michael Allen leads the way on three under par after a third round 67 in Ohio, while overnight leader Ross Drummond slipped back into a tie for 16th after a 76.
German Langer is tied with Ireland’s McNulty on one over par after the pair posted rounds of 73 and 70 respectively in Beachwood, Ohio.
Langer admitted he would have to be aggressive in the final round if he was to become the first European in 50 years to win the US Senior PGA Championship.
“I struggled today a little bit with the long game, the swing, the rhythm wasn't there,” he said. “I was swinging too fast, I think, and just blocking a couple. I didn't hit as many fairways and greens as I wanted to and then struggled all day somewhat with my long game.
“I need to put up a low number and hopefully put some pressure on these guys by creeping up the leaderboard and posting a good score.
“I’m just going to play every shot as good as I can and hopefully go into the 60s and as I said, post a good score.”
England’s Mark James, like Langer a former European Ryder Cup Captain, carded a 72 to lie level with Drummond at two over, and Argentina’s European Senior Tour Member Eduardo Romero is three over.
Scotsman Drummond had admitted to being “surprised” after finding himself top of the leaderboard at the halfway stage he bogeyed the first.
A birdie at the third provided only temporary respite as further bogeys at the fifth and seventh took him to the turn two over for the day.
Drummond – still looking for a first Tour win of his career – then dropped shots at the tenth and 11th, where he gained two birdies in the second round, before three more bogeys and a birdie left him with a six over round and two over on the tournament but still in contention.
Allen is winless in 271 US PGA Tour events, but will take a one shot lead over compatriots Jeff Sluman and Tom Kite into the final 18 holes. Incredibly, this is the 50 year old’s senior debut.
Allen’s previous successes as a professional came at the 1998 Nike Greater Austin Open and the 1989 Bell's Scottish Open on The European Tour.
But he will be acutely aware that both men a shot behind him have claimed Majors before.
Late bogeys at the 16th and 18th cost Sluman the lead as he signed for a 70, while Kite compiled a 69.
Larry Mize (71), Gil Morgan (707) and Tim Simpson (68) are another shot back.
England’s Roger Chapman, playing in only his second event as a Senior Tour player, aced the 205 yard 17th hole for his ninth career hole in one and second in a Major Championship after achieving his first as an amatuer in The 1981 Open Championship.
He said: "I just hit the purest 4 iron I think I've ever hit and it just went in. It was a great moment. The hairs on the back of my neck were going up and it was just an incredible feeling. The crowd went wild."