PARAMUS, N.J. — Bryson DeChambeau described himself as a “man on a mission,” and he certainly played like one Saturday in The Northern Trust.
Now it’s a matter of which mission he’s on.
DeChambeau made four birdies in a five-hole stretch around the turn to pull away from a fading collection of stars, closed with two more birdies and had an 8-under-par 63 to build a four-shot lead over Keegan Bradley going into the final round of the opening event of the FedEx Cup playoffs.
A victory would assure DeChambeau one of the top seeds in the fourth and final event next month at Atlanta’s East Lake Golf Club, which would give him a clear shot at the $10 million bonus for winning the FedEx Cup.
“That would be something pretty special,” he said.
The timing would be ideal for his Ryder Cup hopes as well. DeChambeau narrowly missed qualifying for the U.S. team when he missed the cut at the PGA Championship this month, but a victory against one of the strongest fields of the year might be tough for Jim Furyk to ignore when he makes three of his captain’s picks a week from Tuesday.
“I’ve just got to keep focusing on this tournament,” said DeChambeau, a 24-year-old Californian who won the Memorial Tournament in June for his second PGA Tour victory. “If I can play well in the first leg of the FedEx Cup, I’ll hopefully show Captain that I’m worthy.”
DeChambeau played the part on a day when everyone else around him went the other direction. He and Adam Scott were the only golfers among the last 10 to tee off in the third round who managed to break par, and Scott had to birdie three of his last four holes for a 70. He was six shots behind.
Top-ranked Dustin Johnson, trailing by two shots after 36 holes despite two triple bogeys, added a double bogey to his week and shot a 72 to fall nine shots behind.
Brooks Koepka, the U.S. Open and PGA Championship winner who shared the 36-hole lead Friday, began his slide with a three-putt bogey from 12 feet on No. 5 and by missing a four-foot birdie putt on the next hole. He went 13 holes in the middle of his round with three bogeys and 10 pars and had to settle for a 72. He was seven behind.
Scott was one shot behind when he made two bogeys, then chopped up the par-3 11th for a double bogey.
Bradley finished his round about an hour after the leaders teed off, making five birdies over his last seven holes for a 62. He was leading at the time and figured he would be at least a few shots behind when the third round ended. He might not have expected DeChambeau to be the one he was chasing.
Tony Finau (66) and Cameron Smith (65) were five shots behind in third, with Billy Horschel (65) joining Scott in fifth at 10 under.
Jordan Spieth finally got his putter going and shot a 64, leaving him seven shots behind but in a tie for seventh, boosting his bid to return to the season-ending Tour Championship. Spieth, who hasn’t won this year, started the playoffs at No. 43 in the FedEx Cup rankings. The top 30 after three playoff events go to East Lake for a shot at the $10 million prize. For some, making it to the Tour Championship means getting into three of the majors and two World Golf Championships next season.
Baylor School graduate Luke List had six birdies and three bogeys for a 68. He was tied for 26th at 6 under.
Tiger Woods had his first bogey-free round of the year but managed only three birdies for a 68 and was 13 shots out of the lead.
Sutherland shoots 60
SNOQUALMIE, Wash. — Kevin Sutherland shot a 12-under 60 in the third round of the Boeing Classic, making birdies on the final four holes to finish a stroke off his own PGA Tour Champions record.
Needing an eagle on the par-5 18th at The Club at Snoqualmie Ridge for another 59, Sutherland made a birdie after missing the green with a 3-iron approach shot. He did break the course record of 61 — set by Tom Jenkins and Scott Simpson in 2006 — and was tied for the tournament lead with Ken Tanigawa at 14-under 130.
Tanigawa shot a 64. Scott McCarron (67) was third at 11 under, with Scott Dunlap (66) another shot back.
In 2014, Sutherland became the only player to break 60 in the history of the 50-and-older tour, shooting a 13-under 59 — with a closing bogey — in the Dick’s Sporting Goods Open.
Henderson in charge
REGINA, Saskatchewan — Brooke Henderson took a one-stroke lead into the final round of the CP Women’s Open, fighting through gusting wind at Wascana Country Club in pursuit of a victory in her home nation.
The 20-year-old star from Smiths Falls, Ontario, shot a 2-under 70 in clear and cool conditions to reach 14-under 202. Jocelyne Bourassa is the only Canadian to win this national championship tournament, accomplishing the feat in 1973 at Montreal Municipal in the inaugural La Canadienne.
A six-time winner on the LPGA Tour, Henderson again attracted a large gallery as fans lined the fairways to watch the 20-year-old in a round that included four birdies and two bogeys.
Japan’s Nasa Hataoka (69) and Angel Yin (71) of the United States, both 19, were a stroke back.
Top-ranked Sung Hyun Park (70) was fourth at 12 under. The 24-year-old South Korean star won last week in Indianapolis to match U.S. Women’s Open champion Ariya Jutanugarn, a former world No. 1, for the tour lead with three victories this season.
Co-leaders in Ohio
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Jim Knous birdied the first five holes and shot a 6-under 65 for a share of the third-round lead with Robert Streb in the Web.com Tour Finals-opening Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship.
Knous matched Streb at 12-under 201 on Ohio State University’s Scarlett Course. Streb, the 36-hole leader, birdied the par-4 18th for a 68.
Joseph Bramlett (65) and Denny McCarthy (68) were two strokes back, and Matt Jones (69), Curtis Luck (68) and Seth Reeves (65) were 9 under.
Athens, Tennessee, native Eric Axley (72) was tied for 57th at 1 over.
Harrington has chance
VYSOKY UJEZD, Czech Republic — Three-time major champion Padraig Harrington and Andrea Pavan shot flawless 7-under 65s, each with seven birdies, to share the lead after the third round of the Czech Masters.
They were at 17-under 199 overall at Albatross Golf Resort.
Harrington, the 46-year-old Irishman who won the British Open in 2007 and 2008 and the PGA Championship in 2008, is chasing his first European Tour title since the 2016 Portugal Masters. Pavan, a 29-year-old Italian who played at Texas A&M, is seeking his first European Tour win.
Second-round leader Gavin Green (70) was three strokes back, with Scott Jamieson (68) another stroke back in fourth.