'The key to my round was making birdies on Nos. 13 and 14 after making double bogey the hole before,' said McKelvey. 'I didn't strike it very well today, so to shoot even par is pretty good.'
Steve Ford (68), Brian Claar (68) and Joel Kribel (70) rounded out the leading quartet at 8-under-par 205.
McKelvey began the day with a one-shot lead over Kribel and made it to 9-under par with a six-foot birdie putt at the 10th. But a poor drive led to a bogey at the 11th, and he needed four strokes to reach the green at the par-4 12th. McKelvey missed the 10-footer that remained for bogey and the double dropped him to minus 6.
He quickly climbed back to 8-under thanks to a 20-foot birdie putt at the 13th and a two-putt birdie from 30 feet at the 14th.
McKelvey, 32, has finished in the top-10 twice this season. His best showing was a tie for sixth at the Louisiana Open, an event he won in 2000.
Ford had an active day with five bogeys and eight birdies, including two straight to close his round. He sank a 10-foot birdie putt at the 17th before draining a 32-footer on the home hole.
'I made a lot of mistakes today,' said Ford, a runner-up last week at the Knoxville Open. 'But at the same time I made a lot of birdies. This is a punishing golf course that you have to respect.'
Claar capped his four-birdie, one-bogey round with a 40-foot par save on the final hole.
'I didn't hit it well today, but I chipped and putted my butt off,' said Claar, who needed only 25 putts on the day. 'Today could have easily been three or 4-over if I wouldn't have chipped it so well.'
Kribel, who lost to Matt Kuchar in the finals of the 1997 U.S. Amateur Championship, led at 9-under but missed a seven-foot par putt at the 17th.
D.A. Points carded a 67 and finished alone in fifth place at 6-under 207. Omar Uresti (67), Billy Judah (70) and Scott Sterling (71) were next at 5-under, three shots off the lead.
Full-field scores from the Hershey Open