By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
ATLANTA -- The season-long competition for the FedExCup has now come down to a mere 18 holes on Sunday at East Lake Golf Club.
Win the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola and Henrik Stenson, who leads by four, will earn the $10 million bonus as well as the tournament's $1.44 million first prize. The Waterford crystal and gleaming silver Tiffany trophy will look pretty darn good in his Orlando home, too.
The Swede, who will start the final round at 11 under, came to East Lake ranked second to Tiger Woods in the FedExCup -- one of five players who could earn the hefty bonus with a TOUR Championship win. He's making his debut in the Playoffs finale and trying to join Bill Haas (2011) as the only players to pick up the dual victories in their first appearances.
Stenson, though, has a reasonable chance to win should he even finish in the top three. And he could finish as low as a two-way tie for sixth to have a mathematical shot.
But Stenson isn't sweating the possibilities. He's just focused on building a lead that reached nine strokes on Saturday before he bogeyed three of his last five holes --- the rest will take care of itself.
"It's going to be up to the other guys to try and catch up," Stenson said. "If I can keep the ball in play and keep on giving myself chances, you know, I'm not the one who has to make the extra birdies."
TOP FIVE: Woods would need the comeback of all comebacks to win the FedExCup for the third time. He's 14 strokes behind and tied for 26th. ... Adam Scott, who was so ill he needed an IV before he teed off, started Saturday's third round four strokes behind Stenson. The Aussie, who counts the Masters in his two TOUR wins this year, shot 74 in the third round and has fallen back into a tie for 10th, nine strokes behind Stenson. ... Zach Johnson, who came to East Lake ranked fourth in the FedExCup after his win Monday at the BMW Championship, is tied for fourth at 4 under. He can still earn the FedExCup if he overtakes Stenson on Sunday. ... No. 5 Matt Kuchar has struggled this week and finds himself 25th at 2 over and 13 strokes behind Stenson.
BIGGEST MOVERS: Dustin Johnson came to East Lake as the last man in at No. 30 in the FedExCup. He's 7 under and four strokes off Stenson's lead, which has boosted Johnson 23 spots in the rankings. He has a mathematical shot to win the FedExCup with a win in the TOUR Championship, but six other dominoes have to fall. ... Steve Stricker has only moved up three spots in the projections to No. 3 but is now among the five who control their own destiny. Stricker is alone in third at 5 under and can win the FedExCup with a win at the TOUR Championship (to be completely correct, provided Woods finishes out of a two-way tie for second or better).
QUOTABLE: "Of course I want to win two. If I can't win two, I'll be very pleased to win one. If I'm winning nothing, it will probably be not so sweet from this position. But I didn't have anything when I came here, so we'll see what we'll leave with." Henrik Stenson
ATLANTA -- No one has played better golf over the last two months than Henrik Stenson. The first 54 holes at East Lake have only ben an extension of that.
Stenson shot a 1-under 69 Saturday at East Lake and leads by four over Dustin Johnson in the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola.
At one point, it wasn't even that close.
Stenson's lead ballooned to as much as nine midway through the third round of the season finale, where tee times were moved up because of bad weather in the forecast.
When the rain arrived, so did the bogeys for Stenson, who made four of them over his final nine holes, including one on the final hole. Stenson's 45-footer for birdie lipped out on the par 3 and he missed a 5-foot putt coming back.
Still, Stenson is in position to win for not only the second time in three starts, but a victory would also give him the FedExCup trophy and the $10 million bonus.
Steve Stricker, meanwhile, is alone in third at 5 under, while four others are tied for fourth.
Tiger Woods, who came into the week No. 1 in FedExCup points, broke par for the first time this week on Saturday, shooting a 1-under 69.
He hasn't been a factor all week, though, and is four spots out of last place and would need Stenson to falter in order to win his third FedExCup.
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
ATLANTA -- It took three days, but Tiger Woods finally broke par at East Lake, shooting a 1-under 69 Saturday.
Not that it moved him up the leaderboard much.
Woods trails leader Henrik Stenson by 14 shots, and the rain was just about the only thing Woods beat.
"I didn't hit it very good today," said Woods, who had two birdies and one bogey. "I hit everything to the right or flipped it left, but I putted better."
Woods hit just five fairways and 11 greens in regulation in the third round of the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola, where only once has he finished outside the top 2 in his last five trips here. That was last year when he tied for eighth.
His worst result at East Lake came in 2003 when he finished in 26th after failing to break par in any of his four rounds. Through 54 holes, Woods is tied for 26th with only four players separating him from last place.
A day after saying he "ran out of gas" coming down the stretch of his second round, Woods reiterated that it has been a long season.
He hasn't been the only one to play a lot of golf, however. Stenson, for example, is making his 25th start of the season between two tours. This is Woods' 17th event.
"We're asking a lot for the guys to play from basically British Open on," Woods said. "Some guys have obligations to play in Canada the following week, and they get into Bridgestone, the PGA, and the Playoffs, and the Americans, Internationals flip years. The Europeans got the Ryder Cup on the back end. So it's a lot."
So is Woods' deficit here.
With Stenson holding a big lead and assured of the FedExCup should he hold on to win, Woods has one goal in mind before going to the Presidents Cup in two weeks.
"I want to go in there playing well and shooting some good scores," he said. "The goal is to go out and shoot a low round tomorrow and see where the chips fall."
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
ATLANTA -- Adam Scott was given an IV before teeing off Saturday morning at the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola after arriving at East Lake under the weather.
Scott, who is in second four shots behind leader Henrik Stenson, felt "heavy" after Friday's round, according to his coach Brad Malone, and his condition worsened after dinner and throughout the night.
"He was tired last night and has a restless night of sleep," Malone said. "Hopefully it was just a quick bug."
When Scott arrived at the course for his 9 a.m. ET tee time, he had a fever and chills before doctors administered fluids for about an hour. The Aussie then hit a few balls on the range before teeing off.
"He feels considerably better than he did when he first got here," Malone added.
Scott is seeking his third win of the season and first FedExCup title.
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
ATLANTA -- Henrik Stenson remains in control of his FedExCup fate even more so now after a second-round 66 to open up a four-shot lead atop the leaderboard at East Lake.
If Stenson goes on to win the tournament, he'll win the FedExCup, too. Here's a look at who did what on Friday:
TOP FIVE: Stenson, as mentioned, is in control. Adam Scott is alone in second after a 69 and if he can somehow overtake Stenson and go on to win, it will be the Aussie who takes home the FedExCup. Zach Johnson, who is coming off a win last week in Chicago, moved up seven spots on the leaderboard thanks to a 68 but is still currently projected fourth in the FedExCup standings. Matt Kuchar, meanwhile, dropped 11 spots after a 74 but is still projected fifth. Tiger Woods can still win the FedExCup, but the FedExCup's No. 1 has work to do after admitting he "ran out of gas" late in his round as he went from 5 under to 1 over on the day and tumbled into a tie for 26th.
BIGGEST MOVERS: By moving into third place alone following a a 67 Friday, Jordan Spieth moved from 13th to eighth in the current projections. He would not only have to win the tournament but would need Scott and Stenson to stumble. Dustin Johnson, meanwhile, made a big jump. He came in 30th but is now projected to 14th after a 68. Likewise, he needs o win and have Stenson and Scott stumble. Billy Horschel wasn't much better at 22nd at the start of the week but he's now projected 11th and faces more or less the same scenario as Johnson and Spieth.