ATLANTA — Dustin Johnson made one mistake that suddenly put some intrigue into the final day of the PGA Tour season — the Tour Championship and the FedEx Cup.
Johnson clipped a tree trying to get out of the rough on the 17th hole and made double bogey, and only a birdie on the final hole at East Lake on Saturday allowed him to shoot a 1-under 69 and regain a share of the lead with Kevin Chappell.
Chappell went from a four-shot deficit on the front nine to a one-shot lead when he made a 10-foot birdie putt on the 17th and Johnson made his double bogey. Chappell, still looking for his first PGA Tour victory, shot a 68. They were at 8-under 202.
Rory McIlroy and Ryan Moore each had a 66 and have different prizes at stake Sunday. They were two shots behind, still very much in the game after wondering most of the steamy afternoon if Johnson was going to give anyone a chance.
Johnson still has control of the $10 million bonus for winning the FedEx Cup. He only has to win or finish second alone in the Tour Championship to win the cup. McIlroy, five shots behind at the start of the third round, would have to win the Tour Championship and have Johnson finish in a two-way tie for second. On this course, and after the way Saturday finished, it no longer looks like such a stretch.
Moore went out in 31 until he was slowed by a pair of bogeys, though very much in the mix just two shots out of the lead. The mystery is whether anything he does on Sunday — even if that means a victory — is enough for Davis Love III to use his last captain’s pick on Moore for the Ryder Cup.
Hideki Matsuyama (68) and was three shots behind, and Jason Dufner (66) was four back.
McCarron’s eagle produces lead at Champions event
VICTORIA, British Columbia — Scott McCarron eagled the par-5 12th and shot a 5-under 66 on Saturday to take a two-stroke lead in the Pacific Links Bear Mountain Championship.
The 51-year-old McCarron made an 8-foot putt for the eagle and added a birdie on the par-3 16th in chilly, overcast conditions at scenic Bear Mountain Resort, the first-year venue in the PGA Tour Champions event that was played in Hawaii from 2012-14.
McCarron had a 14-under 128 total after shooting a course-record 62 on Friday. The three-time PGA Tour winner won the Principal Charity Classic in June in Iowa for his first senior victory.
Doug Garwood was second after a 66. Winless on the 50-and-over tour, Garwood played the front nine in 6-under 20, birdieing the first three holes and the last three. He lost the lead with a bogey and McCarron’s eagle on 12, had a double bogey on the par-3 14th and birdies 17 and 18.
Colin Montgomerie was 11 under. The Scot birdied the final two holes for a bogey-free 67.
BAD GRIESBACH, Germany — France’s Alexander Levy completed an 8-under 63 and the delayed second round to take a four-stroke lead in the rain-shortened European Open.
Morning fog delayed the start of play for the third straight day, forcing organizers to cut the event to 54 holes. Levy played only one hole Saturday, making a par on the ninth. He opened with a course-record 62 and had a 17-under 125 total. Sweden’s Michael Jonzon was second after a 63.
Nationwide Children's Hospital Championship
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Martin Flores birdied five of the last seven holes for a 5-under 66 and a three-stroke lead in the Web.com Tour Finals’ Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship.
Already guaranteed a PGA Tour card with a fifth-place finish on the Web.com Tour’s regular-season money list, the 34-year-old Flores rebounded from a bogey on No. 11 with birdies on the next four holes and closed with a birdie on 18. He had a 13-under 20 total on Ohio State’s Scarlet Course.
Flores won the Lincoln Land Charity Championship in July for his first Web.com Tour title.
Tag Ridings, tied with Flores for the second-round lead, was second after a 69. The 42-year-old Ridings was 52nd on the Web.com money list and entered the third of four series events 36th in the race for 25 PGA Tour cards with $9,493.
The series features the top 75 players from the Web.com regular-season money list, Nos. 126-200 in the PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup standings and non-members with enough PGA Tour money to have placed in the top 200 in the FedEx Cup had they been eligible.
Flores and the other top-25 finishers on the Web.com money list earned PGA Tour cards. They are competing against each other for tour priority, with regular-season earnings counting in their totals.
The other players are fighting for 25 cards based on series earnings. The last PGA Tour card went at $33,650 in 2013, $36,312 in 2014 and $32,206 last year.