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Matt NeSmith holds the 54-hole lead at the Korn Ferry Tour's Ellie Mae Classic. 

A marathon Saturday at TPC Stonebrae came to an end when Matt NeSmith's birdie putt on the 18th hole found the bottom of the cup.

With it came the outright lead for NeSmith, who played 30 holes Saturday after fog delays Friday. He played his final 12 holes of his second-round 63, then returned to the course for a third-round 69. He leads by one heading into Sunday's final round.

"With how I played the last seven holes, I'm just happy to have a chance going into tomorrow," NeSmith said. "Thirty holes today was a lot ... I was starting to kind of sputter at the end. But I've been in this position a lot growing up, just like everybody else has throughout the years. We know how to deal with it, and I'm just happy to be able to stand on that tee tomorrow with a one-shot lead and go fight it out."

The last seven holes brought some troubles, namely three bogeys after playing his previous 31 holes without one. But he was able to offset that a bit with birdies at the 16th and 18th, the latter restoring his solo lead.

The second-round 63 gave him the lead by two at 14 under. NeSmith played his first six holes Friday in 1 under, then came back out early Saturday morning to play the final 12 in 6 under. He made four birdies in a five-hole stretch at the turn, then birdied two of his final three holes to turn in a bogey-free card.

Brandon Crick, Zac Blair and Maverick McNealy are all within one, followed by a pair of players at 13 under and another trio at 12 under. Crick was the big mover Saturday with a third-round 62, and he'll go off with NeSmith and Blair in the final grouping.

Matt Atkins recovered from a second-round 74 with a third-round 67 to get into a tie for 26th at 7 under.