Ray Floyd got the lead in the PGA Seniors Championship and Jack Nicklaus got Ray's attention.
"If Jack keeps hitting the ball the way he is, and keeps on putting, lo and behold, we're all in trouble," Floyd said after completing third-round play Saturday.Floyd, who blew a four-shot lead on the final nine holes of this event a year ago, got the benefit of a Jim Colbert whiff in establishing a two-shot advantage going into Sunday's final round on the Champions course at the PGA Resort.
"I'm so pleased with what happened today from a mental standpoint," Floyd said after completing a 5-under-par 67 that included birdies on the first three holes.
"For some time I've been playing much better than I scored, and you kind of get in a mental rut," he said.
"I didn't do any of the things today that had put me in that rut."
With a 207 total, 9-under, he was two shots ahead of Colbert. It could have been closer but for a disturbance in the stands that distracted Colbert on the 18th green.
He was standing over an 8-10 foot birdie putt when, he said, "someone dropped a cup of ice" in the temporary stands, "and there was a lot of stirring around.
"I got distracted and just flat whiffed the putt," he said after finishing with a 71 and a 209 total.
Nicklaus, 55, who started the tournament with a struggling 76 and followed with a wildly erratic 66, had a more conventional 68 that put him three off the pace.
He will be in the final threesome Sunday with Floyd and Colbert, a situation that seemed highly unlikely two days ago.
"After starting with a 76, if somebody had told me I'd be in the last threesome Sunday, I'd have asked him what it was he was smoking," Nicklaus said.
After hitting only six fairways and 10 greens in his wild 66 in the second round, Nicklaus played much more conventionally.
"A different guy showed up," he said.
He missed only two greens, had a single bogey and broke a string of nine consecutive pars with a last-hole birdie on a 5-iron sand shot from 165 yards out that came to rest about two feet from the flag.
Trevino chipped in for a 17th-hole birdie and was tied with Jim Albus at 211. Each had a third-round 69.
Floyd said he received a tremendous mental lift from birdies on the first three holes he played.
"It put me in a good frame of mind," he said. "Three nice putts. I've been playing so well and getting nothing out of it. That was a nice way to start."
That burst enabled him to draw even with Colbert, and he went in front when Colbert drove into a fairway bunker, came out short and bogeyed the 14th hole.
The advantage went to two with Floyd's 12-15 foot birdie putt on the final hole, completing a birdie sweep of the par-5 holes in this round.
"I couldn't be happier with the round," Floyd said. "Jack is on a tremendous comeback. I've played with Colbert all three days and I know he's playing very well.
"It should make for good TV," Floyd said.