Dustin Johnson is 18 holes from locking up the Tour Championship, the FedEx Cup, and the Player of the Year award. Here’s where things stand through 54 holes at East Lake, where Johnson and Kevin Chappell share the lead and where Rory McIlroy sits just two back.
Leaderboard: Chappell (-8), Johnson (-8), McIlroy (-6), Ryan Moore (-6), Hideki Matsuyama (-5)
What it means: Johnson is seeking his 13th PGA Tour victory, his fourth this season and his second of the playoffs following his win at the BMW Championship. Already first in the FedEx standings, a win Sunday would earn Johnson $11.53 million, cement his status as the POY over Jason Day, and move him closer to Day’s No. 1 spot in the Official World Golf Ranking. Johnson would also join Tiger Woods and Billy Horschel as the only players to win the BMW and Tour Championships back to back en route to a FedEx Cup title (Camilo Villegas won both events in 2008, but Vijay Singh won the season-long race). Attempting to upset Johnson’s storybook Sunday will be Kevin Chappell, who remains in search of his first PGA Tour win after five career runner-ups, including three this season at the RMC Classic, Arnold Palmer Invitational and the Players Championship. Not to be forgotten, McIlroy, the winner in Boston just two events ago, will enter the final round only two behind. Sixth in the points standings, McIlroy can take the FedEx Cup on Sunday with a win and a T-2 finish or worse from DJ. Tied with McIlroy at minus-6, Moore remains a potential pick for U.S. Ryder Cup captain Davis Love III.
Round of the day: Seven players – McIlroy, Moore, Jason Dufner, Charl Schwartzel, Emiliano Grillo, Bubba Watson and Will McGirt – shot 4-under 66. McIlroy was bogey-free and birdied three of his last six holes, including the par-5 18th.
Best of the rest: Roberto Castro posted 67, but Chappell gets the nod here for shooting 2-under 68 and very briefly taking the outright lead after DJ lapsed and doubled the 17th hole.
Biggest disappointment: Three under through 36 holes, Kevin Kisner got off to a brutal start, going out in 6-over 41 with four bogeys and a double on his opening nine. He traded a birdie and a bogey on the back to shoot 76 and fall from third to 20th.
Shots of the day: Schwartzel carded back-to-back eagles at Nos. 6 and 7. He hit his second shot at the par-5 sixth to just 8 feet before pouring in the eagle putt and then holed out from 142 yards at the par-4 seventh.
Storyline to watch Sunday night: Love will announce his fourth and final captain’s pick for the U.S. Ryder Cup team on Sunday Night Football on NBC. Moore (T-3), Justin Thomas (9th), Watson (T-14) and Daniel Berger (T-14) were all under par Saturday.