Two-time U.S. Open champion Lee Janzen was flawless on Saturday with five birdies and no bogeys. His 5-under-par 67 moved him into second place at minus-10.
Trahan, both the first and second-round leader, walked on to the first tee Saturday with a two-shot lead, but Faxon erased the margin quickly. He converted a pair of 6-foot birdie putts at one and two to tie Trahan and actually moved in front when Trahan bogeyed No. 3.
Trahan, who helped Clemson win an NCAA title in 2003 before turning professional, two-putted from close to 30 feet for a birdie at the fifth. He added another tap-in birdie at the next par 5, No. 7, and found himself one clear of Faxon.
The lead was pushed to two when Faxon bogeyed the eighth. He reclaimed the lost stroke with a 17-foot birdie putt at the ninth to make the turn one behind Trahan.
Both players parred the first several holes on the second nine, but Janzen made his push. He tallied only one birdie on the front side, at the fifth, but birdied two in a row from the 10th. Janzen, who won the U.S. Open in 1993 and 1998 , also birdied the 14th, then drained an 8-foot birdie putt at the last to get into the clubhouse at minus-10.
Although Janzen trailed by two, Trahan and Faxon came back to him. At the par- 4 14th, Trahan finally reached the green with his third shot and three-putted from 24 feet for a double bogey. Faxon missed an 11-foot par putt and suddenly, the three were tied atop the leaderboard at 10 under par.
Both Trahan and Faxon parred 15 and 16, but Trahan took advantage of the 17th. He found the fairway off the tee, then rolled in the 10-foot birdie putt to move one ahead.
At the par-5 closing hole, Trahan barely missed the putting surface with his second, but got up and down for birdie when his 2-foot birdie putt found the bottom of the cup.
Trahan will now take a two-shot lead into the final round as he tries not only for his first PGA TOUR title, but a wire-to-wire victory at that. Trahan shared the 54-hole lead at last year's Chrysler Classic of Greensboro, but struggled to final-round 75 and tied for 13th place.
'I felt like I handled my emotions well out there,' said Trahan, who, at 142nd on the PGA TOUR money list, needs a big week to secure his card for next year. 'You can't dwell on the past. Honestly, if I was not to play great tomorrow, if I was not to keep my tour card, I would just have to deal with it.'
If Janzen can reach the winner's circle, it will also be significant.
Janzen has not won a tour since his 1998 U.S. Open victory at Olympic Club and since he used his one-time exemption for being on the top-50 all-time PGA TOUR money list this year, he needs a strong finish.
'I have not really hit the ball any differently than I have been,' said Janzen. 'Take all of the birdies you can and see if you can run out holes before everybody else does.'
Chris Riley shot a 3-under 69 on Saturday and is alone in fifth place at minus-8.
Ian Leggatt (67), Jonathan Kaye (67), Rocco Mediate (67), Kris Cox (67), J.P. Hayes (68), Bo Van Pelt (70), Kevin Sutherland (70), Frank Lickliter (70), Jason Gore (70), Troy Matteson (71), Nick Watney (71), Skip Kendall (72), Robert Damron (71) and Joe Durant (74) are knotted in sixth place at minus-7.