Jon Rahm is hoping for a final-day slip-up from Dustin Johnson if he’s to make a late challenge for FedExCup victory at the Tour Championship.
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Rahm birdied his last two holes to post a third-round 66 at East Lake and get to 13 under, only to find himself six behind after Johnson equalled the lowest round of the week with a six-under 64.
Johnson takes a five-shot lead into the final day and is in pole position to win the FedExCup and its $15million jackpot for the first time, with Rahm admitting that the chasing pack need some help from the world No 1 to have a chance of winning the PGA Tour season finale.
“We’re going to need Dustin [Johnson] to not have a good day,” Rahm said. “The one good thing I have going for me is we’re here to win, so tomorrow is a green light for everything. Just got to be aggressive and hopefully pull the shots off and be able to make as many putts as possible.
“Hopefully I can get a little bit faster start than I have so far. I was able to get away with two-under on the front nine today, but that’s only because I made three or four really good up-and-downs out there to get the round going.
Hopefully I can hit some good shots and maybe get to three, four-under today like he did today on the front nine and give myself a chance on the back nine.”
Justin Thomas shares second spot on 14 under alongside Xander Schauffele, who is expecting Johnson to be tough to beat when he plays alongside him in the final group on Monday.
“He [Johnson] has showcased what he can do,” Schauffele said. “If he does what he normally does, it’s going to be almost impossible to catch him. I can try and influence him, which he probably won’t really care about. If I birdie the first three holes it’s not going to faze him, it’s DJ.
“That’s why those play-off events early are so important. You have to get yourself close, where I’m not in a position where I can afford to have a bad round.
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“I have to have sub-66 rounds just to try and catch up to him and I haven’t done that every round and he’s pulling away. I just need to be better and hope for the best at this point.”
Thomas is looking to join Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy as the only two-time winners of the FedExCup, having claimed the jackpot in 2017, with the world No 3 targeting a big finish to the week after his third-round 66.
“DJ is clearly playing well,” Thomas said. “It wasn’t easy today. It’s still East Lake, but anything can happen around this course.
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