Jodie Mudd and Billy Mayfair have the lead, but Greg Norman could have the advantage going into today's final round of golf's richest tournament.

Mudd and Mayfair share the top spot at 205 after 54 holes of the Nabisco Championships in Houston, which offers $3.5 million in prize money as the last official event of the PGA Tour season.

Nick Price is next at 207, while Norman is at 208, tied with Ian Baker-Finch and Chip Beck.

But Mayfair, Mudd and Price -- long shots in a field composed of the top 30 money-winners -- have won a total of one tournament this year. And they have a career total of four.

Norman has won four in this country in the last 14 months and has collected 60 around the world.

"With this much money at stake, it's going to come down to who can rise to the occasion for the big bucks," Mudd said after gaining a tie for the lead with a 3-under-par 68 yesterday on the Cypress Creek course at Champions.

Mayfair, a second-year tour player yet to win as a pro, had a 70. Price's only American triumph came in the 1983 World Series of Golf.

Mudd said he doubted his own ability "to put away a big event" until he won the Players Championship this spring. Now, he said, "I think I can win a big event. I just have to go do it. I have a chance."

Price had to come back from a double bogey to salvage a par 71, and said: "I'm playing well. I really think I can win."

Norman has an all-but-insurmountable lead in the race for the Vardon, a computer-generated scoring average. And he's all but unbeatable in the money-winning race. Norman came into this tournament as the leader with $907,977, but was challenged by 12 others with mathematical chances of overtaking him. Now, Tim Simpson (209) and Paul Azinger (212) are the only men under par who have a chance of catching him.

Baker-Finch closed with a 67 to draw even with Beck and Norman, who each shot 71. Beck lost three shots to par over the last two holes.

Seniors: Dale Douglass shot 6-under 66 to take a one-stroke lead with 137 for two rounds of the Rancho Murieta (Calif.) Senior Gold Rush. First-round leader Bob Charles is at 70 -- 138, tied with George Archer (68) and qualifier Bob Betley (72) heading into today's final round. Betley, a former police officer, never played on the regular PGA Tour.