Scottie Scheffler clings to one-shot lead as TOUR Championship delayed
August 27, 2022
By The Associated Press
- August 27, 2022
Scottie Scheffler cards his first birdie of the day on No. 8 at TOUR Championship
ATLANTA — Justin Thomas was a tap-in away from polishing off a 7-under 63. And then the horn sounded Saturday signaling a stop in play because of storms near the TOUR Championship.
He had to wait until Sunday to not only finish, but to figure out where it left him in pursuit of the FedExCup and its $18 million prize.
Scottie Scheffler was still in the lead, barely. Xander Schauffele was still on his heels, even tying him ever so briefly. They were on the 13th hole and among 10 players who have to return Sunday morning for what could be a sprint toward the PGA TOUR's top prize.
Scheffler was at 19-under par, even par for the round on a hot, steamy day at East Lake with soft greens and very little wind ... always the recipe for low scoring.
Schauffele was 1 under for a wild round of back-to-back birdies, back-to-back bogeys and back-to-back birdies during a six-hole stretch on the front nine.
The average score for the incomplete round was 67.
That's what Jon Rahm said he needed — another low round, and Scheffler to not have his best stuff. He got only the second part right. Rahm, coming off a 63, had four bogeys to go along with five birdies and wasn't making up much ground.
Those who didn't finish had to return at 9:45 a.m., and only then would the FedExCup finale have any clarity.
Sungjae Im was three shots behind at 16 under. Assuming Thomas makes his putt, he would be at 15 under. Rory McIlroy also was at 15 under with two holes to play, including the par-5 closing hole.
Rahm, Patrick Cantlay and Sepp Straka were at 14 under and still had to finish.
The third round was scheduled to finish an hour later, and then lightning in the area stopped play for an hour. And when the second batch of lightning arrived in the area, there was no chance to finish.
Hideki Matsuyama posted the low round of the day at 63, and he was still six shots behind.
Scheffler started Thursday at 10-under par and with a two-shot lead as the No. 1 seed in the FedExCup, with Cantlay two shots behind. Scheffler, already a four-time winner and a lock to be voted PGA TOUR player of the year, opened with rounds of 65-66 and at times has threatened to turn the TOUR Championship into a runaway.
He stalled Saturday, and all that did was expand the possibilities.
Open Championship winner Cameron Smith is a three-time winner this season and would have needed to win to make it a race for player of the year. He had a 68 and was 11 shots behind.