SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Arkansas' David Lingmerth and Monday qualifier Scott Harrington share the 54-hole lead at the Price Cutter Charity Championship. Scoring conditions were nearly perfect in the third round at Highland Springs Country Club and the field took full advantage, posting a scoring average of 68.687.
Lingmerth, who lives about two hours away in northwest Arkansas, vaulted up the birdie-filled leaderboard with a 6-under 30 on the front nine. He bounced back from a bogey at No. 16 to finish with back-to-back birdies and a 7-under 65. His 17-under total of 199 was matched a short time later by Harrington, who closed strongly on the back for a 66 to tie.
Andrew Buckle (64), Chris Wilson (65) and Nicholas Thompson (66) share third place, one shot back.
Camilo Benedetti's 9-under 63 equaled the best round of the day and pushed him into contention, two off the pace. Benedetti is at 15-under 201, along with James Nitties (66), Michael Letzig (67) and second-round co-leader Brian Stuard (69).
"It's tough to complain when you shoot 65 but I was a little disappointed with my back nine," said Lingmerth, who holds a lead for the first time in his Web.com Tour career. "I was struggling a bit off the tee but I'm feeling good about things. I knew that 5-under wouldn't put me in the lead. I knew it would take seven, eight or maybe nine-under just to be in position."
Lingmerth got into position, as did a host of others, including Harrington, who began the day one back.
"We've done a really good job of staying patient because the last two days we've only been one-under on the front nines," said the 31-year old Northwestern grad. "I didn't feel like anyone was going to run away with it and I knew I just needed to hit that one good shot to get me going."
Harrington's outlook turned when he stuffed a 9-iron to within a few inches at the par-4, 10th hole, pushing him to 13-under. He followed up with four more birdies on his next six holes to catch Lingmerth.
"I started hitting some really good iron shots," he said. "I was just making some good six and eight-footers."
Harrington's tee shot on the downhill, par-5 closer found the water to the right of the fairway. A lay-up left him 92 yards to the pin and a 12-footer for par saved the day.
"It was big. If I would have finished at 16 it wouldn't have been the end of the world but you don't want to give one away at the last, especially a par-5," he admitted. "You want to be that last group. It's going to be fun."
• This is the first time in David Lingmerth's two years on Tour that he has held or share a lead after a completed round. His previous best after 54 holes was a tie for third at the 2011 Utah Championship.
• Lingmerth's 199 total ties his lowest 54-hole score on Tour. He was also at 17-under 199 at the 2011 Midwest Classic.
• Harrington is making only his second start of the 2012 season. Harrington, who has no status on Tour, missed the cut at the BMW Charity Pro-Am earlier in the year after getting into the field on a sponsor exemption. Harrington had conditional status in 2004 and 2008. He has made 43 previous starts in his Web.com Tour career but made only nine cuts.
• Harrington has never held or shared a lead in his previous 43 career starts. The best position he's ever been after three rounds came at the 2004 Preferred Health Systems Wichita Open. Harrington shot a 6-under 65 in the final round that year and got into a four-way playoff. Bradley Hughes went on to win that week, beating Harrington, Eric Compton and Hunter Haas in the playoff.
• Jimmy Brandt had a hole-in-one on the 175-yard, 6th hole. Brandt aced the hole using a 6-iron. It is the 16th hole-in-one on Tour this year. Brandt is making only his second start of the year but this was his second hole-in-one. He also had one in the fourth round of the Mexico Open where he finished T53.
• Stuart Anderson of Canada posted a 9-under 63 early in the day and briefly held the lead at 14-under when he was done. Anderson is part of a four-way tie for 10th place, three back of the co-leaders. The 34-year old is making his first professional stop in Springfield but remembers the last time he was in town -- he was playing in a college tournament for Illinois State in 1998, the day that local hero Payne Stewart died in a plane crash.
• Fourth-round play will be in twosomes off the first tee starting at 7:13 a.m. Play is scheduled to be completed approximately 4:30 p.m.
• Ben Kohles, winner of the past two events on Tour, fell out contention Saturday with a 1-over 73 that dropped him to 4-under for the week and in 63rd spot. Kohles established Tour records by winning his first two professional starts -- at the Nationwide Children's Hospital Invitational two weeks ago and the Cox Classic presented by Lexus of Omaha last week.
• Five of the past seven Price Cutter Charity Championship winners were entered this week
• The best rounds of the day:
63 -- Stuart Anderson, Camilo Benedetti 64 -- Andrew Buckle, Russell Henley
• Course statistics this week:
• The Web.com Tour next moves to the Kansas City area for the Midwest Classic presented by Cadillac. The tournament will be held at the Nicklaus Golf Course at LionsGate in Overland Park, Kan. Aug. 13-19.