A 10-foot birdie putt on 17 was enough to see Bubba Watson lead the Deutsche Bank Championship by a single stroke overnight.
The American carded a one-under round of 70 on Sunday and leads the event from a gaggle five players, all of whom lie one shot adrift on -10.
That group is led by Australian Jason Day and Brendan Steele, whose rounds of 67 moved them right into contention. Cards of 68 for Chez Reavie and Jerry Kelly and a 71 for Adam Scott also kept them in the title hunt.
Another five players are two shots behind Watson, including Masters champion Charl Schwartzel, world number one Luke Donald and defending FedEx Cup champion Jim Furyk.
“It’s setting up for a great tournament, great finish, which is good,” Day said, after claiming two birdies on his last two holes. “The names are up there, and I think that’s good for the game of golf right now and it’s good for the FedEx Cup playoffs. No one knows what’s going to happen (on Monday).”
Phil Mickelson also got himself into the mix by shooting a 63. He was finished before lunch and while he didn’t expect to stay anywhere near the lead, he didn’t anticipate the course firming up. Of the last three groups to tee off, no one broke 70.
Brendan Steele, who made a pair of eagles for a 67 and is one shot behind, summed it up as well as anyone. “It’s not even that there’s so many guys,” he said. “It’s who the guys are, too. There’s a lot of talent there. Somebody is going to have to definitely go and take this tournament. It’s not going to be given to them.”
Best of the Irish is Graeme McDowell, who is in a tie for 39th after a round of 70 left him on -4. Padraig Harrington is further back and sharing 60th and both men will need to improve their respective positions if they are to have any hope of advancing for the next play-off event – the BMW Championship in Illnois – where only the top 70 FedEx Cup players will take part.