Tight at the top at Wells Fargo Championship

Jason Dufner, Joel Dahmen and Max Homa share a three-way tie for the lead heading into the final round of the Wells Fargo Championship.

The American trio are locked on 11 under for the tournament and endured a stop-start day at Quail Hollow, where storms stopped play twice. That’s one stroke ahead of Pat Perez – who shot a sizzling 66 to rise up the leaderboard – and two ahead of birthday boy Rory McIlroy.

Dufner, who started the day leading thanks to a stellar 63 on Friday, signed for an even par 71 in an indifferent round that included three bogeys and three birdies.

Meanwhile, cancer survivor Dahmen recovered from a disastrous start. The world number 125 found himself at three over par for the day on the seventh tee, but pulled it back with an eagle, four birdies and a couple bogeys, making for a colourful scorecard.

“I thought I was going to be a lot more nervous in those opening holes and I wasn’t,” Dahmen told pagatour.com.

“After I made double, then I got nervous because I didn’t want to shoot myself out of this thing. I wanted to keep having fun and keep being in this tournament. Geno, my caddie, did a great job today, just kept it light.”

Homa had a chance to lead outright but an errant drive into the trees on the 18th would lead to a bogey. Nonetheless, his one under 70 round gives him hope for some Sunday silverware…and that is all Homa wants.

“All you can ask for is to have a chance,” Homa confirmed.

“I think I did that today. Obviously, we have a long 18 holes to go on a hard golf course, but I’m proud of the round. I like how I played, I like my chances and I like where I’m standing after three days.”

McIlroy celebrated his 30th birthday on Saturday and was reminded by the Quail Hollow galleries at almost every turn. A solid three under 68 puts him two shots shy of lead and one shot ahead of Ryder Cup teammate Justin Rose, who is alone in 6th.

“This golf course really rewards patience and rewards discipline,” said the Northern Irishman.

“And I feel like I was both of those today.”