A four-under 66 sees Cantlay head into the weekend on 17 under and one ahead of Rahm at the FedExCup season finale – watch the third round from 6pm via the red button on Sky Sports Golf and on Sky Sports Mix.
By Ali Stafford
Last Updated: 04/09/21 12:12am
Patrick Cantlay birdied his final two holes to hold off world No 1 Jon Rahm and take a one-shot lead into the weekend at the PGA Tour’s season-ending Tour Championship.
Cantlay’s impressive closing stretch closed out a bogey-free 66 and moved him to 17 under at East Lake, as Rahm produced a three-birdie finish to card a five-under 65 and get within a shot of the American.
The pair are six and five shots respectively ahead of the chasing pack, with Bryson DeChambeau also birdieing his last two holes to get to 11 under and third spot ahead of 2017 FedExCup champion Justin Thomas.
Cantlay started the day with a two-shot lead and briefly extended his lead by getting up and down from a greenside bunker to birdie the par-five sixth, only for Rahm to roll in from five feet at the par-four next and see both players reach the turn in 34.
Rahm converted from 12 feet at the 11th and nailed a 35-footer from off the 12th green to match Cantlay’s birdie, after the American had gone inches away from holing his approach into the par-four, to reduce the gap to a single shot.
The world No 1 was forced to pitch out from the trees after a wayward tee shot at the 13th, resulting in a bogey-five, but made a 10-foot birdie at the 16th to get back within a single shot.
Cantlay converted from 15 feet at the 17th to match the 25-foot birdie from Rahm, with the BMW Championship winner holing from eight feet at the par-five last and Rahm splashing out of the sand to tap-in range to both finish with a birdie.
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DeChambeau slipped out of contention after back-to-back three-putt bogeys from the 13th, only to chip in from off the 17th green and add another birdie at the 18th to close a three-under 67 and jump into third spot.
Thomas followed a 15-foot birdie at the third with a 10-foot eagle at the sixth and got within two of the lead when he drained a 60-footer at the 14th to go five under for the day, only to post back-to-back bogeys from the 16th and miss a five-foot birdie chance at the last.
The former world No 1 is seven strokes off the pace and Viktor Hovland is one of five players in tied-fifth on nine under, while Rory McIlroy birdied his last three holes to shoot a second-round 66 and jump inside the top-10.
McIlroy is joined on 10 under by 2015 FedExCup champion Jordan Spieth and Louis Oosthuizen, with just five of the 30-man field going into the weekend over par for the tournament.
Who will win the FedExCup? Watch the Tour Championship throughout the weekend live on Sky Sports. Live coverage continues Saturday from 6pm on Sky Sports Mix and via the red button on Sky Sports Golf.