Tiger Woods has all but locked up the FedEx Cup, taking a three-stroke lead into the final round of the Tour Championship.
Tiger Woods closes in on PGA Tour's FedEx Cup, leads by three in Tour Championship

It is Tiger Woods' leaderboard.

Barring a shocking collapse from golf's greatest closer, the first PGA Tour FedEx Cup - and the $10 million prize that comes with it - will go to Woods.

Woods fired a 6-under-par round of 64 Saturday to maintain his three-stroke lead in the Tour Championship in Atlanta. Woods, who is 40-3 when leading after three rounds in a PGA Tour event, improved to 19-under 191 and will head into the final 18 holes Sunday with a comfortable cushion over second-place Mark Calcavecchia at defenseless East Lake Golf Club.

Even though Woods wouldn't necessarily even need to win to take the FedEx Cup, the world No. 1-ranked player wants nothing short of a victory.

"If I lose the tournament and win the FedEx Cup, I don't think I'm going to be too happy really that I've lost the tournament," Woods told reporters.

Considering the track record of the guy who the other players in the 30-man field are chasing, the task does indeed seem daunting, Calcavecchia said.

"That's a pretty big hill to climb," Calcavecchia told reporters. "If he was hitting a few foul balls it might help, but every time I turned around he was about 40 yards ahead of Woody Austin in the fairway. So it's pretty hard to screw up with a pitching wedge into every par 4 and reaching every par 5 easily.

"I don't see (Woods) shooting worse than 65 tomorrow, but you never know."

After seeing Woods shoot a pair of 64s and a 63 in his first three rounds, anything much higher doesn't seem likely. His Saturday round featured one bogey against seven birdies, including three in a row on holes 14-16.

Woods needed just 26 putts to put together yet another solid round on a golf course that he ranks as one of the easiest he's played on in his 11 years as a professional.

Zach Johnson joined the contingent of players who have taken a run at a 59 this week before finishing with a career-low and course-record round of 10-under 60. The Masters champion needed a birdie on the par-3 18th hole, but hit his tee shot into the bunker and had to settle for a par.

Chip Beck, Al Geiberger and David Duval share the PGA Tour record of 59. Duval, who accomplished the feat in 1999, was the last to do it.

Despite his great round, Johnson is still six shots back of Woods in fourth place at 13-under 197. Sergio Garcia shot a third-round 64 to move into third place at 14-under 196.

With several players going low again Saturday, Woods said he had no choice but to try and do the same.

"If you made a bunch of pars, you were going to get run over, so it was nice to make some birdies and get out there and still maintain the same sized lead I had starting out the day," Woods said. "You see the rounds today (of) 60, 62, and guys were taking it deep.

"I was hoping that I could make some birdies myself and basically shoot something in the mid-60s."

September 16, 2007

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