Johnson still leads, McIlroy lurks
Dustin Johnson is closing in on a wire-to-wire win at the Tour Championship, although Rory McIlroy is now just two shots back.
The US Open champion started the day with a narrow one-shot cushion, but despite another solid round of one-under-par 69 at East Lake on Saturday, he now finds himself in a share of the lead on eight under par with fellow American Kevin Chappell, who closed the gap thanks to a 68.
Perhaps even more worryingly, McIlroy made one of the day's biggest moves thanks to a four-under-par 66. The Northern Irishman lies on six under, two strokes adrift, in a share of third place with Ryan Moore, who also had a 66.
Along with Hikeki Matsuyama (68) on five under, and Jason Dufner (66) a shot further back, they all still stand a chance of catching the leaders in Sunday's final round.
Johnson's 69 doesn't tell the whole story of what was a topsy-turvy round. While he added six more birdies to his week's tally, he also made three bogeys and a nasty double-bogey at the par-4 17th, which briefly brought McIlroy to within a shot of his lead.
He recovered with a closing birdie at the long 18th and is still the firm favourite to take the title – and the FedEx cup prize – but he will have given his challengers some hoping of forcing a different outcome come Sunday.
"I hit a couple of bad drives there coming home and on this golf course if you miss the fairways it's very difficult," Johnson said after his round.
"I feel like I am swinging really well but I will go hit a few balls and work on the driver a little."
McIlroy, meanwhile, enjoyed far more serene progress, birdying the eighth, 13th, 16th and 18th in a bogey-free performance.
The four-time major winner has never won the FedEx Cup, and said of the prospect: "I'm excited. First and foremost I need to go out and try to win this golf tournament. That's what I need to focus on and if I can do that, someone has to tie with DJ for me to win.
"I've been close a couple of times in my career. It would be nice obviously to win, but all I can do right now is focus on myself, try and post another good number and if DJ finishes second on his own he fully deserves this FedEx Cup.
"He's had a phenomenal year, a way better year than I've had, but that's the beauty about these play-offs, you can come up from behind and give yourself a shot, which I have tomorrow."
Meanwhile, Bubba Watson, who is one of the players in line to be US Ryder Cup captain Davis Love's final wild card selection for the team, shot a much-improved 66 to move with nine strokes of the lead.
"I just want to be a part of it," he said. "The experience of it, the atmosphere, everything about it is what golf is. It's just so much fun.
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