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McIlroy, Tiger duel for $10 million purse

Brandt Snedeker

ATLANTA – Brandt Snedeker gave himself the opportunity he wanted in the FedEx Cup. He also has the company he expected.

Snedeker played one of his best rounds this year at just the right time Saturday, making a collection of tough putts and relying on his short game to pick up a couple of other birdies on his way to a six-under 64 that gave him a share of the lead with Justin Rose in the Tour Championship.

That means he now only has to win Sunday at East Lake to claim the FedEx Cup and its $10 million prize, the richest payoff in golf.

So does Rory McIlroy, who was only three shots out of the lead.

Ditto for Tiger Woods, four shots behind.

The Tour Championship has never had so much at stake for so many top players.

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“It’s going to be one of the most exciting Sundays of the year,” McIlroy said after a 68. “Great to be in the mix.”

McIlroy, who won the last two FedEx Cup playoff events, had his 11th consecutive round in the 60s. Woods salvaged an important par after his shot ricocheted off a Georgia pine and wound up with a 67.

Snedeker, McIlroy and Woods were among the top five seeds coming into the Tour Championship, giving each the best shot at the $10 million because they only have to win the Tour Championship no matter what anyone else does at East Lake.         

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