The Charlotte Observer (Sunday) - - Sports - BY DOUG FER­GU­SON

Bryson DeCham­beau kept pour­ing in birdies as ev­ery­one around him went the other direc­tion Satur­day in The North­ern Trust.

DeCham­beau fin­ished with two birdies, mak­ing an 18-foot putt on the last hole to cap off his 8-un­der 63 that gave him a four­shot lead over Kee­gan Bradley. Along with seiz­ing con­trol of the open­ing FedEx Cup play­off event, DeCham­beau might make it tough for Ry­der Cup cap­tain Jim Furyk to ig­nore him.

He nar­rowly missed earn­ing one of the eight au­to­mat­ics spots on the U.S. team. Furyk makes three of his picks a week from Tues­day.

DeCham­beau made nine birdies, four in a five-hole stretch to start pulling away.

What made him stand out, even more than his tam o’shanter cap and sin­gle-length shafts, was all the stars around him were in re­verse. Of the fi­nal 10 players to tee off, DeCham­beau and Adam Scott were the only ones to break par. Scott had to birdie three of his last four holes for a 70.

Brooks Koepka, who shared the 36-hole lead with Jamie Love­mark, had a 13-hole stretch in the mid­dle of his round with three bo­geys and 10 pars. He shot 72 and fell seven shots be­hind. Dustin John­son, who started the day tied with DeCham­beau, added a dou­ble bo­gey to a week that al­ready in­cluded two triple bo­geys. John­son birdied his last hole for a 72 to fall nine shots back.

Scott was one shot be­hind when he made two bo­geys, then chopped up the par-3 11th for a dou­ble bo­gey.

“I re­ally switched off there for five holes and made a mess of things around the turn,” Scott said. “Might have shot my­self out of the tour­na­ment. We’ll see how it goes to­mor­row, but it’s go­ing to be costly and make life dif­fi­cult for me to win this thing now.”

Bradley fin­ished his round about an hour af­ter the lead­ers teed off, mak­ing five birdies over his last seven holes for a 62. He was lead­ing at the time and fig­ured he would be at least a few shots be­hind when the third round ended.

Tony Finau (66) and Cameron Smith of Aus­tralian (65) were five shots be­hind, with Billy Horschel (65) and Scott an­other shot back. Jor­dan Spi­eth fi­nally got his put­ter go­ing and shot a 64, leav­ing him seven shots be­hind but in a tie for sev­enth, boost­ing his bid to re­turn to the Tour Cham­pi­onship.

Spi­eth, who hasn’t won this year, started the play­offs at No. 43. The top 30 af­ter three play­off events go to East Lake for a shot at the $10 mil­lion prize.


Bryson DeCham­beau hits a fair­way shot Satur­day on the 18th hole dur­ing the third round of the North­ern Trust in Paramus, N.J.

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