FAIRFIELD, CONN., JULY 11 -- Gary Player overtook Chi Chi Rodriguez on the final two holes today to take a two-stroke lead after three rounds of the U.S. Senior Open.

The two were tied at 8-under after 13 holes and stayed that way until Player sank a 10-foot birdie putt on the 17th to pull ahead for the first time in the tournament. Rodriguez lost another stroke when he boggeyed No. 18.

Player, whose lone 1987 victory came at the Senior Tournament Players Championship last month, shot a 67 and was at 9-under-par 204 goiong into Sunday's final round.

Rodriguez, winner of five senior events this year, was alone at 206.

Don Massengale (70) and Bob Charles (68) were tied for third, five strokes behind Player.

Former NFL quarterback John Brodie, who began the round one stroke behind Rodriguez, struggled to a 3-over 74 to fall seven shots off the pace.

Arnold Palmer also shot a 74 and was eight strokes behind Player.

Earlier today, amateur William Hyndman III withdrew from the tournament after he awakened with an irregular heartbeat and was "very tired," USGA officials said.

Hyndman, 71, of Huntington Valley, Pa., went to the medical tent at the Brooklawn Country Club course, where an electrocardiogram was performed.

A physician suggested Hyndman not play the third round in the high humidity and 90-degree temperatures.

Hyndman has shot consecutive 1-over-par 72s.