JJ Henry picked up 14 points on Saturday to take a three-point lead into the final round of the Reno-Tahoe Open.
The American carded five birdies, an eagle and solitary bogey to notch up 36 points, three ahead of second round leader Alexandre Rocha.
The tournament is making use of a modified Stableford scoring system which Ping k 15 irons + ping k15 fairway wood play, with eight points awarded for an albatross, five for an eagle, two for a birdie and none for a par. Players are deducted a point for a bogey and three for anything worse.
"At times you feel like you are more of a mathematician than a golfer," Henry joked after the round.
"If you're going to make some eagles, this is the week to do it," he added.
"I really don't know what to expect. I'm just going to go out and try to get double digits ... I'm just trying to get to a magic number and add it all up at the end of the day."
Rocha will be ruing a bogey on the seventeenth after a run of three consecutive birdies from twelfth to the fourteenth put him firmly in the running.
The Brazilian believes that Sunday's final round will see an increase in risky TaylorMade RocketBallZ RBZ Driver play as the chasing pack look to close in the leaders before it's to late.
"We can't forget the rest of the field that's behind us and very, very close," he said. "Because of the format you can have a guy on standby just cruising around and suddenly make a turn, make a couple of birdies and sneak in an eagle, and suddenly there you go."
John Mallinger is the man breathing down Rocha's neck, with the American sitting on 34 points, two adrift of Henry