ATLANTA — Jordan Spieth was so consumed with trying to make birdies and save pars on a rugged, rainy afternoon at the Tour Championship that he didn't realize until after he signed for a 2-under 68 that he had a one-shot lead.
He knows exactly what's at stake Sunday in what was shaping up as a dynamic end to the season.
Spieth made four big par saves and ended with a 20-foot birdie to overtake Henrik Stenson for the lead at East Lake. Already with the best year in golf, the Masters and U.S. Open champion is now one round away from the richest year in golf history.
A victory would push him over a record $12 million for the season, and give him the $10 million bonus for winning the FedEx Cup.
"No matter what, it's a dream-come-true season," said Spieth, who was at 8-under 202. "So I don't need tomorrow to justify it. I'm not going to sit here and say $10 million doesn't mean anything to me, because it does. It's a fantastic bonus that I don't even know where it came from ... but all of a sudden they just want to give us more money. So it's fine with me.
"I'll work hard for the win tomorrow because I want to win this golf tournament," he said. "It would be special to get your name on that trophy."
He's not the only one who feels that way. And he's not the only one with that chance.
Stenson had another ordinary day by his standards with his ball-striking, though he held it together for a 72. It was the first time in seven rounds that Stenson was over par, and the first time in his two trips to the Tour Championship that he was no longer in the lead.
"We're still at the races," Stenson said. "I would have liked to have gone a few better, but we're still up there and yeah, it's all going to be decided tomorrow."
Don't overlook Rickie Fowler.
He shot 31 on the back nine for a 67, the low score of the third round, and was four shots behind.
Spieth, Stenson and Fowler are among the top five seeds in the FedEx Cup, and only have to win the Tour Championship on Sunday to claim the FedEx Cup.
Six players were separated by five shots, including Paul Casey (71), who was tied with Fowler at 4-under 206.
In other news:
• At Pebble Beach, California, Colin Montgomerie settled for a one-stroke lead in the Champions Tour's First Tee Open after bogeying the final hole.
The 52-year-old Scot finished with a 5-under 67, missing a 6-foot par putt on the par-5 18th to fall to 8-under 135.
• At Columbus, Ohio, Roberto Castro shot a 3-under 68 to take a two-stroke lead in the Web.com Tour Finals' Nationwide Children's Hospital Championship.
• Thongchai Jaidee shot a 7-under 64 to take a one-stroke lead after the third round of the European Open at Bad Griesbach, Germany.
Pelle Edberg (63), Ross Fisher (69) and Graeme Storm (69) were tied for second.