McIlroy, Horschel tied for Tour Championship lead
ATLANTA — Rory McIlroy made up a two-shot deficit on Billy Horschel at the Tour Championship on Saturday, setting up a $10 million showdown to end the PGA Tour season.
McIlroy overcame a pair of three-putt bogeys by rolling in a 25-foot eagle putt on the 15th hole, and closing with a tough chip from thick grass behind the 18th green that allowed him to save par for a 3-under 67.
Horschel led by as many as three shots during the third round at East Lake until he dropped two shots on the back nine and had to settle for a 69.
They were at 9-under 201. And they had plenty of company in what was shaping up as one of the most enticing finishes in the eight-year history of the FedEx Cup.
Jim Furyk, winless since he captured the FedEx Cup four years ago, had a 67 and was two shots behind. He would have to win to have any chance of joining Tiger Woods as the only multiple winners of golf’s biggest bonus.
Rickie Fowler (67), Justin Rose (66) and Jason Day (70) were three shots behind.
“It’s going to be an exciting day,” Horschel said after posting his 11th consecutive round in the 60s during the FedEx Cup playoffs.
McIlroy has been losing a little energy since that high-charged performance that carried him to major titles in the British Open and PGA Championship, with a World Golf Championship sandwiched in between. He knows he’s already had the best year, and he would like nothing better than to end it right.
“I’ve come here with the ultimate goal of trying to cap it off and trying to put an exclamation point on it or the icing on the cake or whatever you want to call it,” McIlroy said. “Would it be poetic justice? I’d feel really good about it.”
McIlroy says he hasn’t been playing his best, certainly not at the same level as Hoylake or Valhalla, where he won his two majors. But he was good enough. He three-putted the par-3 second hole, missing a 3-foot putt. He had to make a 4-footer to avoid his third four-putt in two weeks.
But all was forgotten when he drilled a 5-iron from 209 yards up the hill on the par-5 13th to the back collar of the green, just over 25 feet from the flag. He knocked that in for a share of the lead, and then hung on with pars.
EVIAN CHAMPIONSHIP: At Evian-Les-Bains, France, Hyo-Joo Kim of South Korea goes into the final round of the Evian Championship with a one-shot lead over veteran Karrie Webb.
Contenders struggled for form on Saturday in an error-strewn third round, with Kim hitting four bogeys on the front nine before recovering for a 1-over 72. Her remarkable 61 on Thursday was the lowest score in major history.
Webb was somewhat more consistent, with four birdies and three bogeys in a 1-under 70, leaving the 39-year-old with a great chance of an eighth career major.
Mi-Jung Hur of South Korea is two behind Kim at 6 under overall. Overnight leader Brittany Lincicome of the U.S. dropped four shots off the lead after a 6-over 77, which featured two double bogeys and a triple bogey within the first seven holes.
WEB.COM FINALS: At Columbus, Ohio, Richard Sterne shot a 4-under 67 for a share of the lead with Derek Fathauer and Justin Thomas in the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship, the third of four events in the Web.com Tour Finals.
Sterne had an eagle, four birdies and two bogeys to match Fathauer and Thomas at 5-under 208 on Ohio State’s wind-swept Scarlet Course.
Fathauer had a 76 after opening with rounds of 63 and 69 to take a three-stroke lead. He was 13th on the Web.com Tour’s regular-season money list to secure a 2014-15 PGA Tour card.