Scottie Scheffler pulls away for 6-shot lead entering final round of Tour Championship

ATLANTA — Scottie Scheffler returned to East Lake Sunday morning looking like the world No. He pulled away with four birdies over six holes and finished the third round with a 4-under-66, giving him a 6-shot lead in the Tour championship.

Scheffler delivered a steady diet of pars that put him in a close fight with Xander Schauffele until Saturday when he was stopped for the second time due to lightning in the area. Scheffler was then 1 shot ahead.

And then he was gone.

Scheffler holed birdie putts from about 5 feet on the 13th and 15th holes. He filled his approach to 2 feet on the 17th and then made an excellent escape from the left rough across the water, leaving him with a long pitch that he nearly holed on the par 5 18.

He tapped in to make 23 under par. That put him just one round away from the $18 million prize money for winning the FedEx Cup.

Rory McIlroy shagged his last two holes for a 63 and will be in the last group with Scheffler. He was 17, along with Schauffele, who was looking good for birdie but didn’t make any on Sunday morning.

Defending champions Patrick Cantlay (66) and Sungjae Im (66) were 7 strokes behind.

Scheffler is No. 1 in the FedEx Cup and was rewarded with a 2-shot lead at 10 under par before the start of the tournament. He’s 13 under 13 for his raw score, which is the best for McIlroy this week. However, McIlroy was number 7 and started 6 strokes behind.

Schauffele missed an 8-foot birdie putt on the 13th hole as they continued the round. He sent his next shot so far to the right that he had to hit a temporary shot in case it was out of bounds. He found the ball but ended up missing a 10-foot par putt and falling 3 behind.

On the par-3 15, Scheffler hit his tee shot 5 feet to a front left pin over the water. Schauffele also hit a good one at 10 feet and missed again.

Scheffler has already won four times this year, including the Masters, to become the world No. 1 and is a contender for PGA Tour Player of the Year.

He won just over $14 million in the regular season – already a record and unsurprising given the ever-growing prize pool. He won a $4 million bonus from the Comcast Business Tour Top 10 for leading the regular season’s FedEx Cup and a $1 million bonus for winning the Aon Risk-Reward Challenge.

A Sunday afternoon win would equate to a year of $37 million for the 26-year-old Texas graduate.

https://www.espn.com/golf/story/_/id/34475883/scottie-scheffler-pulls-away-6-shot-lead-entering-final-round-tour-championship Scottie Scheffler pulls away for 6-shot lead entering final round of Tour Championship

Emma Bowman

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