MCKINNEY, Texas -- With warmer temperatures and calmer winds prevailing, Californian James Hahn fired a 7-under 64 to catch halfway leader Justin Hicks at 12-under par after three rounds of the season-ending Web.com Tour Championship at TPC Craig Ranch.
On a day that began with the thermometer barely above freezing, Hahn posted the lowest round of his Web.com Tour career. The South Korean-born Hahn reeled off eight birdies and just one bogey. He has bettered his previous days' score by three each day after opening with rounds of 70-67.
With 25 PGA TOUR cards for 2013 to be awarded after play tomorrow, he is already assured of securing his TOUR card for the first time. Hahn, who turns 31 next Saturday, entered the Web.com Tour Championship 13th in earnings. A victory on Sunday would be his second of the year. In June, he captured The Rex Hospital Open in Raleigh, N.C.
"It was a good day but I'm not going to say it was a great day," Hahn said. "I was even on the par-5s.
"I could care less about the money," he added. "It's all about taking home a trophy. I believe it would be contagious and it would be nice to take home some hardware and just build on it."
This week's purse is $1 million, with the winner taking home $180,000.
Hicks is looking for a special birthday celebration of his own on Sunday when he turns 38. The former Michigan Wolverine has nine top 10s on the year, including one runner-up, but has yet to enter the winner's circle. He continued his steady play of the first two days adding a 67 to rounds of 65 and 69.
Like Hahn, Hicks is assured of collecting his PGA TOUR card. Unlike his fellow co-leader, Hicks will be returning to the PGA TOUR where he played in 2011. He is 11th in earnings.
"Tomorrow is my birthday," Hicks said. "I've got my family out, so it's a good week regardless."
He looks to draw inspiration from last year's Web.com Tour Championship winner. "I watched my friend Ken Duke just jump everybody when he won," Hicks said. "You know in the back of your head that if you have a good week, whether you win or not, it can really springboard you ahead of some people. If somebody catches you, so be it."
His game plan for Sunday is simple. "The best defense is a good offense," he said. "I can't say there was ever a round where I told somebody we made too many birdies."
Both Bolli and Putnam are looking to play their way into a PGA TOUR card for next year. They came to the Dallas area 30th and 44th, respectively, in earnings.
A pair of Web.com Tour rookies, Luke Guthrie and Russell Henley, are locked in a tie for fifth place with veteran Cliff Kresge at 8-under par. Guthrie and Henley are pursuing their third win of the year and a shot at the money title.
Leading money winner Casey Wittenberg fired a 67 and is tied for eighth, one shot back.
* Hahn's 64 in round three is his lowest score of the year. Hahn has shot 65 three times this year (Stadion Classic at UGA, BMW Charity Pro-Am and Utah Championship).
* Hahn is leading the tournament in putts per green hit in regulation (1.533) and is T1 in total putts through three rounds (83).
* In his career on the Web.com Tour, Hahn has held the lead or a tie for the lead once in 2010 at the Cox Classic. Hahn carded a final-round 68 (-3) and finished T3.
* Coming into this event, Hicks had never held the outright lead or a share of the lead in a Web.com Tour event after 54 holes.
* Bolli's last win on the Web.com Tour came at the Price Cutter Charity Championship in 2009. He finished that year ranked 11th in money, earning his PGA TOUR card for 2010. His best finish in 2012 is a T3 at the Cox Classic. Bolli also held a TOUR card in 2005 and 2008.
* Here is what the money list bubble positions (Nos. 21-30) look like after three rounds:
* The Tour's top-five money leaders and their positions in the field after two rounds:
* Two weeks ago, Ben Martin was 94th on the money list. He finished third in last week's Winn-Dixie Jacksonville Open to earn the 60th and final spot in this week's field. A win or runner-up this week would complete a remarkable climb to earn his PGA TOUR card. After three rounds, the former Clemson Tiger is T11.
* In 2006, Craig Kanada came from six back on Sunday to win the Web.com Tour Championship to make it the largest come-from-behind victory in tournament history.
* Scoring averages for the week at TPC Craig Ranch: