Tour Championship: By increasing his lead at the Tour Championship, Scottie Scheffler increased his chances of winning the FedExCup while Rory McIlroy recovered from a disastrous start at East Lake.
When Scheffler combined an eagle, four birdies, and a single bogey to shoot a five-under 65, he further distanced himself from the 29-man field. Scheffler started the PGA Tour season finale on 10 under and with a two-stroke lead over his nearest rival.
The current Masters champion moved to 15 under after birdying his final three holes, pulling further away from nearest rival Xander Schauffele, who shot a 66 in the first round. England’s Matt Fitzpatrick, who started with a 64 and made no bogeys, sits in third place.
Patrick Cantlay, the defending FedExCup champion, is tied for fourth place, while Rory McIlroy had a brilliant 67 to finish at four over par and move into a tie for sixth.
How Scheffler managed to succeed
When Cantlay bogeyed the fifth hole and retreated to seven under alongside Schauffele, Scheffler increased the lead to four. Cantlay hit from six feet to save par at the second and rolled in a 12-foot birdie at the third to surge ahead by three strokes.
Cantlay mirrored Schauffele’s two-putt birdie at the sixth hole, but he fell five back when Schauffele scored eagle on the same par-five hole. However, the world No. 1 subsequently missed two opportunities to increase his lead by making birdies from inside eight feet on the following two holes.
When Cantlay attempted to escape a fairway bunker on his way to a bogey at the eighth, Schauffele recaptured sole possession of second. Meanwhile, Scheffler holed from eight feet at the ninth hole to avoid dropping only one stroke after blading a shot from a greenside bunker.
Scheffler had a five-shot lead going into the turn, but that advantage was reduced to three when Schauffele made a close-range birdie at the next hole and added another at the 12th to offset a bogey at the ninth. Joaquin Niemann was a further stroke back after capping his opening-round 64 with an eagle at the par-five last.
Fitzpatrick moved into a tie for second place with Schauffele after the US Open champion made a close-range birdie at the 15th and added a 12-foot eagle at the 18th to reach nine under. Schauffele sank a putt from 20 feet to save a par at the 14th, but Fitzpatrick joined him there.
After a stretch of pars, Scheffler broke the streak with back-to-back birdies from the 16th to briefly regain a five-stroke lead. Schauffele then cut the lead to four strokes with a closing birdie, but the FedExCup leader then two-putted from 30 feet at the par-five last to finish with a three-birdie round.
For golf tournament, golf live score, golf championship, golf match today, golf club and other golf news follow Livematchupdates.com.