After winning three straight full-field events to begin his first full season on the Champions Tour, Roberts will carry a two-shot lead into the final round of the Senior Players Championship after shooting an 8-under 64 in the third round on Saturday.
He now stands at 14-under-par 202 -- two strokes ahead of Lonnie Nielsen, who shot a 6-under 66 in the third round to reach 12-under-par 204.
No one believed Roberts' early-season success was a fluke. Beginning part-time on the Champions Tour last summer, Roberts won the JELD-WEN Tradition in a playoff over Dana Quigley for his first Seniors major.
It was also his first Champions Tour title after winning eight times on the PGA TOUR.
But since winning the MasterCard Championship, Turtle Bay Championship and ACE Group Classic to begin 2006, the 51-year-old Roberts has since collected eight top-10 finishes without another win.
He made a run at the U.S. Senior Open last week with a record-setting 62 in the third round, then shot 73 on Sunday to finish tied for eighth.
Saturday, Roberts began making a move with back-to-back birdies to begin his third round. He added birdies at the fifth and seventh holes to make the turn at 10 under, then collected another birdie at the 10th.
Roberts broke a four-way tie for the lead when he drained a 4-foot birdie putt at the par-4 16th to get to 12 under. It was the first of three consecutive birdies to end his bogey-free round at the TPC of Michigan.
Brad Bryant and Quigley share third place at 11-under-par 205 after both shot 68 in the third round.
Don Pooley -- one of eight players who held a share of the second-round lead -- now heads a group of four players who are tied for fifth place. Pooley shot a 2-under 70 in the third round and is tied with Bobby Wadkins (65), Des Smyth (68) and Jim Thorpe (69) at minus-10.
Joe Ozaki tied a Champions Tour record with eight consecutive birdies on Friday, then tallied a double-bogey and a birdie Saturday morning to hold a share of the second-round lead.
Ozaki slipped further in the third round, shooting a 1-over 73 to tumble into a tie for 16th place at 7 under.
Two other co-second round leaders slipped even further: Mike Reid and Jerry Pate, who are among a group tied for 19th place at minus-6. Defending champion Peter Jacobsen is also there after a third-round 66.