Tim Ailes steals lead at Western N.D. Pro-Am

On moving day at the Western North Dakota Charity Pro-Am, Tim Ailes surged to the top of the leaderboard.

The Lewis Center, Ohio, native shot a 6-under 66 on Saturday at Vardon Golf Club to erase all of a four-stroke deficit and seize a one-shot buffer heading into the final day of The Dakotas Tour event.

For the second straight day, Ailes played bogey-free golf over the back nine – actually the final 11 holes – to improve his position.

After an otherwise solid round, Regina, Sask., native Kent Eger coughed up the lead over the final three holes.

Eger, who led by one stroke after the first round and four after the second, ran into trouble on the par-5 16th and 18th holes. He bogeyed both while Ailes drained both, grabbing sole possession of the lead.

Eger carded a 2-under 70 and is now two strokes back at 202 for the tournament. Ailes is at 16-under 200, while Bismarck native Tim Kunick and Minnesotan Jon Trasamar are tied for second at 201. Jeff Burton of Scottsdale, Ariz., and Zakhai Brown of Arvada, Colo., each hold a share of fifth at 203.

Trasamar recorded the best round of the day with a 7-under 65 to move up from a fifth-place tie, while Kunick shot a 66 and improved from a tie for third.

Ailes, who leads the tour in points and earnings, had his lone setback with a bogey on the par-3 seventh – the same that caused him trouble on Thursday. He made five birdies the rest of the way, including three on the final five holes.

Trasamar and Kunick also converted three birdie opportunities over the final five holes. They will join Ailes in the final group today, which is schedule to tee off at 12:30 p.m.