With three birdies over the final four holes Saturday, the 38-year-old Victoria native carded a 2-under-par 69 for a three-round total of 203, one stroke better than transplanted Victorian Paul Devenport (New Zealand).
Defending McDonalds Order of Merit champion Steven Alker, also from New Zealand, and Zimbabwes Lewis Chitengwa are one shot back, while Todd Fanning is in fifth spot, two strokes off the pace.
After firing a 1-under-par over the front nine Saturday, Piercy fell into a lull with bogeys on both the 10th and 11th holes followed by a par on 12. It was then he found his putting stroke.
From nine through eleven, I thought to myself I should have been at least three strokes better, said Piercy, who turned professional in 1985. I was frustrated walking off the 11th green, but I knew I had been hitting the ball and putting well, I just had to be patient. I got rewarded for that patience.
Trailing Devenport by a stroke teeing it up on the final hole, Piercy hooked his tee shot behind a tree but nailed a miraculous second shot onto the green, before stealing the birdie with a 13-foot putt. Devenport, in the final pairing behind him, then bogeyed the final hole.
That wasnt a great tee shot on 18, but you know what they say - if you have a swing you have a shot, Piercy added. But I have to play the same way tomorrow, there are so many guys close. I think someone early is going to have a great round, and that will force everyone else to do the same.
The Shell Payless Open wraps up Sunday before the Canadian Tour shifts to Vancouver for next weeks TELUS Vancouver Open.
Full-field scores from the Shell Payless Open