McIlroy keeps his eye on the prize


Golf:Rory McIlroy hoped he had saved his best for last as the battle for a $10 million payday went down to the wire in Atlanta. McIlroy, Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Brandt Snedeker and Nick Watney came into the final week of the FedEx Cup play-offs knowing the staggering payout would be theirs if they won the Tour Championship.

And it was Snedeker who emerged as the most likely to do so on Saturday with a third round of 64 to share the lead on eight under par with England’s Justin Rose. Ryan Moore (65) was alone in third on six under, with McIlroy sharing fourth place on five under with Masters champion Bubba Watson and Jim Furyk.

McIlroy’s 68 was his 11th successive sub-70 score, but the 23-year-old world number one knows he could need even better on Sunday to deny Snedeker. The Northern Irishman, who carded two bogeys and four birdies, admitted saving par on the 18th from a greenside bunker could prove crucial, adding: “It depends on how I play tomorrow.

“I wanted to make it (the par putt) because I didn’t want to give a shot away right at the end. I felt like I played pretty solid but you have to stay patient. It’s one of those courses where I don’t think anyone is really going that low. I might need one and hopefully I have saved it for the last day.”

Furyk, who lifted the huge prize two years ago on the eve of the last Ryder Cup, moved out in front on Friday by going to the turn in a spectacular 29 and handing in a 64. But after one birdie and 15 pars left him in a share of the lead on the 17th, the Ryder Cup player ran up a triple-bogey seven after finding water off the tee.

Woods is four off the lead on four under after a 67, with Luke Donald a shot further back after matching that score largely thanks to holing his second shot to the 14th for an eagle two.

Collated third round scores(USA unless stated, par 70)

202Justin Rose (Eng) 66 68 68, Brandt Snedeker 68 70 64

204Ryan Moore 69 70 65

205Rory McIlroy (Nirl) 69 68 68, Jim Furyk 69 64 72, Bubba Watson 69 66 70

206Tiger Woods 66 73 67, Robert Garrigus 68 69 69, Bo Van Pelt 67 68 71, Matt Kuchar 67 69 70

207Zach Johnson 68 69 70, Luke Donald (Eng) 71 69 67

209Dustin Johnson 69 67 73, Webb Simpson 71 68 70

210Louis Oosthuizen (Rsa) 70 71 69

211Jason Dufner 70 70 71, Adam Scott (Aus) 68 73 70, Scott Piercy 67 73 71, Rickie Fowler 71 68 72

212Phil Mickelson 69 71 72, Hunter Mahan 68 73 71

213Steve Stricker 67 73 73, Keegan Bradley 70 73 70, John Senden (Aus) 72 68 73, Sergio Garcia (Spa) 69 73 71, Carl Pettersson (Swe) 71 67 75

217John Huh (Kor) 74 70 73

218Ernie Els (Rsa) 72 75 71

219Nick Watney 75 74 70

221Lee Westwood (Eng) 72 73 76

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