His three-day total of 21-under-par 195 not only shattered the previous 54-hole tournament record of 198, it also equaled the best 54-hole start in Buy.Com Tour history in relation to par.
Chris Smith established the mark of 21-under through three rounds of the 1997 Omaha Classic. He also set the tour's 54-hole scoring mark of 192 that week at the par-71 Champions Club.
'I really hit it good today,' said Campbell, who won the Richmond Open in May. 'It probably is my best round of the year. I knew I had to keep making birdies because everyone else was going to. I hit a lot of good shots out there, and it's a great feeling to have that many looks at birdie.'
Click here for Chad Campbell's scorecard.
Campbell was flawless on Saturday, hitting all 18 greens in regulation to set up nine birdies. He birdied four in a row, starting at the 12th, to jump out to his big lead but also missed two birdie tries from inside four feet.
'I've missed several close ones, but then, too, I've made my share,' he said. 'I was pretty frustrated when I missed those two on 10 and 11, but then I come back and birdie the next four.'
Campbell is third on the Buy.Com Tour money list and can secure his PGA Tour card for 2002 with the winner's check worth $76,500.
'I'm trying not to think about that right now,' he said. 'It's hard, but I don't want to get ahead of myself. I'm trying to stay focused on this one. I just want to give myself a chance tomorrow. I have noticed the crowds are getting a little bigger every day. Hopefully, there will be a bunch of people out here on Sunday.'
Eric Booker (65), Rod Pampling (66) and John Patterson (68) share second at 17-under-par.
Booker has struggled this season, making one cut in 17 starts and carding only eight sub-par rounds in 34.
'You're only as good as your last round, and today I'm a pretty good player,' Booker said. 'Three weeks ago, I was ready to send out resumes. If you play this game long enough, you know that patience is your best friend. I think my swing is better than it's ever been. The more you keep believing it, the more it works. Success breeds success.'
Pampling was mistake-free on Saturday with six birdies and no bogeys.
Patterson bogeyed the par-5 3rd hole but rebounded with four birdies the rest of the way.
Tom Carter is alone in fifth place at 16-under-par.
Kelly Gibson, Jeff Gove, Phil Tataurangi and second-round leader Todd Fischer are knotted in sixth at minus-15.
Full-field scores from the Buy.Com Permiam Basin Open