The John Deere Classic is a tournament that holds a special place in Patrick Rodgers' heart. He played his second PGA Tour event as an amateur at TPC Deere Run in Silvis, Ill., in 2012. He received his first sponsor's exemption into the tournament a year later and finished in a tie for 15th. He grew up not far away in Indiana and attended the tournament as a spectator when he was 15.
Ten years later, Rodgers has a chance to earn his first PGA Tour victory in one of his favorite events. He holds the third-round lead at 16-under 197 after posting a three-under 68 on Saturday.
It's the second time this season Rodgers has held the 54-hole lead, the first coming in February at the Farmers Insurance Open. He hung tough throughout the final round at Torrey Pines, but ultimately finished T-4 after carding an even-par 72. After that week, he went through a tough stretch, missing seven of his next eight cuts. A strong finish on Sunday could erase those memories and make it his most successful season to date.
Making the two biggest moves of the day were Daniel Berger and Scott Stallings, who are tied at 14-under 199 and are two off the lead. Berger, 24, carded an eight-under 63 for his seventh straight sub-70 round dating to his second-place finish at the Travelers Championship. His 2017 campaign has been one of the most impressive on tour, and he'll have a chance to pad the resume with another strong finish on Sunday. In addition to his victory at the FedEx St. Jude Classic, he has two second-place finishes, five top-10s, seven top-25s and more than $3.6 million in total earnings. A win at the John Deere would be the third of his career.
Stallings, 32, posted a seven-under 64 that featured a six-under 30 on his back nine, highlighted by an eagle 3 on the par-5 17th. He's now played his last 36 holes in 14 under without dropping a shot. The three-time PGA Tour winner has struggled in 2017, but is beginning to find some good form. After missing four straight cuts in April and May, he's made five of his last six. It's Stallings' sixth appearance at the John Deere, where he's missed three cuts and finished in the top-25 twice, including a T-16 last season.
Three back at 13-under 200 is Nicholas Lindheim, who posted a second straight five-under 66. Jamie Lovemark, J.J. Henry and Bryson DeChambeau are four strokes back at 12-under 201.