Bryson DeChambeau shot a 63 Saturday to turn a two-stroke deficit into a four-stroke lead at the Northern Trust.
The 24-year-old began Round 3 in fourth place, but a consistent effort helped him get to 16 under par with one round remaining at Ridgewood Country Club in Paramus, New Jersey. Keegan Bradley is alone in second place at 12 under after tying a course record with his 62.
The tournament is the first of four FedEx Cup playoff events, and it appears the level of play has matched the stakes.
Round 3 Leaderboard
1. Bryson DeChambeau (-16)
2. Keegan Bradley (-12)
T3. Cameron Smith (-11)
T3. Tony Finau (-11)
T5. Billy Horschel (-10)
T5. Adam Scott (-10)
T7. Jordan Spieth (-9)
T7. Phil Mickelson (-9)
T7. Brooks Koepka (-9)
T7. Beau Hossler (-9)
T7. Chez Reavie (-9)
T7. Patrick Cantlay (-9)
T7. Adam Hadwin (-9)
Full results available at PGATour.com.
The leaders to start the day didn't find much luck as Brooks Koepka (72) and Jamie Lovemark (73) each struggled from start to finish. Adam Scott was in third and needed three birdies in the last four holes just to shoot 70. Dustin Johnson was all over the place as his 72 dropped him from fourth to 20th.
This opened the door for DeChambeau, who had every type of shot working on his way to nine birdies on the day:
He already has seven top-10 finishes this season, but he can capture his second victory of the year if he replicates this performance in Round 4.
Bradley also has a chance to win after tearing it up earlier in the day. Incredible iron play helped him match the course record as he jumped from 33rd into contention.
PGA Tour Communications noted just how good this round was compared to the rest of his season:
Beyond the leaders, there were many big names who produced low numbers in Round 3.
Jordan Spieth followed a pair of 70s in the first two rounds with a 64, showcasing the type of ability we had come to expect from him before a down season:
Phil Mickelson also had fun, shooting his third straight 68 and seeming relaxed with the crowd:
Spieth and Mickelson are part of a tight group at nine under, which is good enough to stay in the hunt for first place.
Tiger Woods is tied for 49th at minus-three, but he still hit a milestone with his round, per Justin Ray of Golf Channel:
His putter was disappointing, though, and he left a lot of opportunities on the table on his way to a 68.
"These guys are making a boatload of birdies, and as soft as it is, I just haven't made any," Woods said after the round, per Bob Harig of ESPN.com.
A strong finish for any of these players could give them plenty of momentum over the next few weeks.
The final round Sunday should feature lots of excitement as the leaders battle for a tournament title, but staying alive in the FedEx Cup playoffs will be just as important. The top 100 in the standings after this week advance to the Dell Technologies Championship, and anyone on the border knows every stroke matters.