Dale Douglass shot 68 today to add a stroke to his lead after three rounds of the $275,000 U.S. Senior Open at Scioto Country Club. Gary Player took second place, four shots behind Douglass' 54-hole tournament-record total of 206, going into Sunday's conclusion.

Douglass, playing his first Senior Open after reaching the senior golfers' minimum age of 50, continued his domination over Scioto's 6,709-yard, par-71 layout.

He led after each of the first two rounds, shooting an Open first-round record 66 and a second-round 72. He stands eight shots better than the previous low three-round score in the seven years of the Senior Open.

Citing his "even keel theory," Douglass said, "It comes down to putting the ball in the fairway on the first hole and then putting it in the hole, and going on to the next hole and doing the same, so that at the end of the day you've made a good score and everyone thinks you're wonderful."

Player shot 66 and missed matching the course record when he failed on a six-foot putt and bogeyed the 430-yard, par-4 finishing hole.

Jim Ferree, with an even-par 71, and Harold Henning, with a third-round 70, were the only other players under par, at 1-under 212.

Five-time British Open champion Peter Thomson shot 70 to move to 214. Bruce Crampton and Chuck Workman were at 215. Chi Chi Rodriguez, coming off last weekend's Senior Tournament Players Championship victory in Cleveland, was at 216, with Jack Fleck and Bob Toski.

Two-time defending Senior Open champion Miller Barber had 217, and 1981 Senior Open champion Arnold Palmer followed rounds of 78 and 74 with a 73 to stand at 225.

Player birdied seven of the first 12 holes in the third round and inched within two shots of the lead when he birdied the 12th. Douglass, who made the turn in 2-under 34, answered with birdies on Nos. 12 and 15. On 18, Player missed the fairway, then hit into a trap.