PGA Tour Championship: Paul Casey seizes 2-shot lead

By Stan Awtrey, The Sports Xchange  |  Sept. 23, 2017 at 8:52 PM
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England's Paul Casey fired a 5-under 65 Saturday to take a two-shot lead after three rounds of the Tour Championship at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta.

Casey began the week in 10th place in the playoff standings, but could still win the FedEx Cup and the $10 million bonus if he wins the tournament and several other pieces fall into place. Casey is at 12-under 198 and if the leaderboard stays unchanged, he is projected to win it all.

Two players are tied for second place at 10 under: Kevin Kisner, whose 64 was the low round of the day, and rookie Xander Schauffele, who shot 65.

U.S. Open champion Brooks Koepka, Patrick Reed and third-round co-leader Justin Thomas are tied for fourth at 7-under. Thomas, the PGA champion, birdied his last hole to shoot 70, Koepka shot a 68 and Reed carded a 69.

Casey had a five-hole stretch early in the round that included three birdies and an eagle, when he placed his approach shot on the par-5 sixth hole to within 9 feet and made the putt. But the momentum was halted when he made back-to-back bogeys at Nos. 8 and 9.

Casey grinded through the back nine, making birdies at No. 11 and No. 17. He bombed a 342-yard drive on the 18th hole, but put his approach in the greenside bunker. Casey got up-and-down for par.

Webb Simpson, who shared the 36-hole lead with Casey and Thomas, slipped to a 72 and dropped into a tie for ninth place at 5-under.

No. 1-seeded Jordan Spieth, who won the FedEx Cup in 2015, managed a 69 and is tied for 12th at 206, eight shots off the lead.

World No. 1 Dustin Johnson shot 69 for the second day in a row and is also tied for 12th.

NOTES: Japan's Hideki Matsuyama was first during the regular season in FedEx Cup points, but he hasn't fared well in the playoffs. Matsuyama shot 73 on Saturday and is tied for 26th at 6-over. ... Charley Hoffman was named to the Presidents Cup team, but he's struggled this week. Hoffman hasn't broken par in any of the three rounds and is tied for 28th after a third-round 71. ... Masters champion Sergio Garcia moved up five spots with a 68 on Saturday and is tied for 15th. ... First-round leader Kyle Stanley shot 70 and is tied for 15th.

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