ATLANTA – Scotty Scheffler returned to East Lake Sunday morning looking like the No. 1 player in the world, reeling off four birdies over six holes to finish the third round at 4-under 66 to take a 6-shot lead. In the tourism championship.
Schaeffler was serving a pars diet that would put him in a tight battle with Xander Schauffele until the second stop on Saturday due to lightning in the area. At the time, Scheffle 1 was shot down.
And then it disappeared.
Scheffler holed birdie putts from 5 feet on the 13th and 15th holes. He filled his approach to 2 feet on the 17th and then made a superb escape from the left rough on the water.
He taps to reach 23 under. That put him one round away from the $18 million prize for winning the FedEx Cup.
Rory McIlroy shot the final two holes for a 63 and will be in the final group with Scheffler. He was on 17 under 17 along with Schauffele, who had a good look for birdies but didn’t make any of them on Sunday morning.
Defending champion Patrick Cantlai (66) and Sungjae Im (66) were 7 shots back.
Scheffler is the No. 1 seed in the FedEx Cup and was awarded a 2-shot lead at 10-under before the tournament began. He is tied with McIlroy for the best this week at 13 under par. But Massilroy was the No. 7 seed and started 6 shots behind.
Shuffle missed an 8-foot birdie putt on the 13th hole as they continued their round. He sent his next tee shot so far right that he had to make a provisional putt if it was out of bounds. He gets the ball but misses 10 feet and falls 3 behind.
On the par-3 15th, Scheffler hit his tee shot 5 feet to the front left over the water. Schauffele hits a good one to 10 feet and misses again.
Scheffler has won four times this year, including the Masters, to reach No. 1 in the world and is considered the PGA Tour’s Player of the Year.
He won more than $14 million during the regular season — already a record, and it’s no surprise that the prize money is constantly increasing. He won a $4 million bonus from the “Comcast Business Tour Top 10” for leading the FedEx Cup in the regular season, winning the Aon Risk-Reward Challenge with a $1 million bonus.
Sunday afternoon’s win would equal $37 million for the 26-year-old Texas graduate.