ADA, Mich. — Defending champion Larry Nelson eagled the par-5 17th hole in his second straight 5-under 67 for a share of the lead Saturday in the Farmers Charity Classic.
Bob Gilder followed his opening 65 with a 69 to match Nelson at 10-under 134 on the Egypt Valley Country Club course. Nelson, who had a tournament-record 198 total last year, is seeking his fourth victory of the Senior PGA Tour season.
Nelson rallied after opening with two bogeys.
"It was a little different round than Friday," Nelson said. "On the first two holes, I didn't hit very good iron shots. I hit it where I couldn't get up and down."
He had three bogeys and four birdies on the front nine, and added two birdies and the eagle on the 518-yard 17th on the back nine.
"I felt like I played well, but I did some strange things," Nelson said. "I got concerned on the front side because I was six shots back and I didn't want to shoot myself out of the tournament. I knew I could make up some of it though. I was hoping to get within two or three shots so I would have a chance on Sunday, but the eagle put me in position."
Gilder birdied three of the first seven holes to take a five-stroke lead at 10 under. He had two birdies and two bogeys on the final 11 holes.
"You never want to go back to the field," Gilder said. "You would like to distance yourself, even if it's with one or two guys it's fun to get away.
"I'm still learning this golf course. It's a golf course you need to know. Where they put some of these pins, you need to know where you can hit it."
Nelson closed with a 63 in last year's final round to beat Dave Stockton by three strokes.
"It is up to Bob and I how we play tomorrow," Nelson said. "If one of us shoots 67 though, someone else would have to shoot 63 to win. That's not impossible, though. We've seen that before."
Jim Holtgrieve (67), Jim Ahern (67) and Walter Hall (69) were three strokes back at 137, and Terry Mauney (69), Vicente Fernandez (69) and Dana Quigley (70) followed at 138.