Fifth-ranked Viktor Hovland of Norway seemed to be on cruise control, while the other leaders were stuck in neutral or reverse.
Hovland carded a four-under-par 66 and will take a six-stroke lead over sixth-ranked Xander Schauffele of La Jolla and San Diego State to the final round of the 38th Tour Championship at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta.
Play was halted for about two hours late in the day because of dangerous weather in the Atlanta area, but Hovland finished off his round in strong style when play resumed.
“To win the FedEx Cup would be pretty cool,” said Hovland, who can capture the trophy if he claims his third PGA Title of the season and sixth in his career on Sunday. “That’s where all the tournaments we play earlier in the year lead to. I feel like I’ve just become a little bit more complete, and I don’t have to hit it my best to be in contention. I don’t have to hit every shot pure. I can miss it slightly and get up-and-down and move on.
“I don’t think I’ve ever played this well before in my career,, with this stretch, just putting all the short game and stuff together. I’ve certainly hit the ball this good before, but I feel like I’ve hit the ball better than I have this week and even last week.
“The list of names on that trophy is pretty special. Obviously, it’s … not a marathon, but it feels more like a sprint.”
Hovland, who shot 61 last Sunday in the final round of the BMW Championship to win the second tournament of the FedEx Cup playoffs, made two birdies on the front nine and added three more against his lone bogey at No. 14 and holds the lead at 20-under-par.
Schauffele, the 2021 Olympic Gold Medalist, made three birdies on the first seven holes en route to a 68 and is solo second, while Collin Morikawa of La Canada Flintridge, who started 61-64, struggled to a 73 with only two birdies and is seven shots behind in a tie for third with Keegan Bradley, the 2011 PGA champion, who birdied the last hole for a 70.
Top-ranked Scottie Scheffler made his only birdie on the last hole for a 73 and is nine back in a tie for fifth with third-ranked Jon Rahm of Spain, the reigning Masters champion, who had his only two birdies on the back nine in a 71, and Wyndham Clark, the reigning U.S. Open champion, who had three birdies and a bogey in his 68.
Second-ranked Rory McIlroy, who claimed his record third FedEx Cup last year, made only two birdies in a 71 and is 11 strokes behind in a tie for eighth with fourth-ranked Patrick Cantlay of Los Alamitos and UCLA, who birdied three of the last five holes for a second straight 68, and Adam Schenk, who sank a 15-foot eagle putt on the sixth hole and birdied No. 18 for a 69.
Seventh-ranked Max Homa of Valencia and Cal had three birdies and two bogeys in a 69 and is in a tie for 11th that includes eighth-ranked Matt Fitzpatrick of England, the 2022 U.S. Open champion, who had only two birdies in a 71.
For complete results and final-round tee times, visit: https://www.pgatour.com/leaderboard