Day leads BMW by six, eyes No. 1 ranking


Jason Day started the third round with a five-shot lead and extended that margin by one at the BMW Championship, as he looks to pass Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth and ascend to No. 1 in the world. Here’s how things shape up heading into Sunday at Conway Farms:

Leaderboard: Jason Day (-20), Daniel Berger (-14), Scott Piercy (-14), Rory McIlroy (-13), Rickie Fowler (-12), Dustin Johnson (-12), Kevin Na (-12)

What it means: Looking at the leaderboard, it would be a pretty exciting tournament if not for Day, who is 18 holes from his seventh PGA Tour win and fifth this season. Day led by as much as eight but labored on the back-nine before a closing birdie at the last for a 2-under 69. Six clear of the field, he will move to No. 1 in the Official World Golf Ranking with a win Sunday. He would become the third Aussie to reach No. 1, joining Greg Norman and Adam Scott, and become the youngest of the three to do it. Day would also become one of only three players in the last two decades to win five or more events in the same season, joining Tiger Woods and Vijay Singh. Day has not finished lower than T-12 in his last seven starts. Over that stretch, he has won three times, including the PGA. In his last 27 rounds, he's a combined 99 under par. With a win tomorrow, he'll join Woods, Singh, Billy Horschel and Henrik Stenson in the group of players to win multiple playoff events in the same year.

Round of the day: The BMW winner, Fowler made six birdies against a lone bogey to shoot a 5-under 66. Fowler has posted rounds of 69-66-66 this week and still remains eight shots behind Day. He’s also won three times this season, including The Players and a playoff event, and he won’t even sniff Player of the Year consideration thanks to Day and Jordan Spieth. Fowler was joined by Daniel Summerhays, who carded a 66 of his own.

Best of the rest: Four players - Piercy, McIlroy, J.B. Holmes and Sangmoon Bae - turned in rounds of 4-under 67. McIlroy sandwiched his lone bogey of the day at the 16th with three other birdies in his final four holes. 

Biggest disappointment: Playing in the final group with Day and Berger, Brendon Todd played a three-hole stretch from Nos. 4-6 in 5 over with a triple bogey at the fourth. Todd entered the week 48th in the FedEx rankings and would have comfortably advanced to East Lake with his position through 36 holes. But a 5-over 76 on Saturday has him back down to 43rd.

Shot of the day: Bae elected to putt from just off the 14th green, leaving himself this 117-foot attempt for eagle:

Projected No. 28 in the FedEx ranking, Bae is on the bubble to make the Tour Championship in his final PGA Tour season before returning to South Korea for mandatory military conscription. Whether he makes it to East Lake, Bae will compete as a captain's pick for Nick Price's International team at the Presidents Cup next month.

Storyline to watch heading into Sunday: Day’s march to No. 1 is the obvious answer, but keep one eye fixed on the FedEx Cup standings. Only the top 30 make it to next week’s Tour Championship at East Lake and earn an automatic invite to next year’s majors.