The 49-year-old needs a spectacular round today in the final round for any shot at earning full exemption on the Champions Tour next season.
Dawson was in 37th place, after shooting an impressive 68 on Wednesday.
After today's round, the low-seven finishers receive their Champions Tour card. The next eight players and ties all receive conditional status on the Champions Tour for 2004, based on their order of finish.
Dawson graduated from Sikeston High School in 1972 and currently lives in Reno, Nev.