Paul Casey takes 54-hole lead at Tour Championship

John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Paul Casey takes 54-hole lead at Tour Championship

PGA Tour

Paul Casey takes 54-hole lead at Tour Championship

Here is a recap of the third round of the Tour Championship at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta.

LEADING: Paul Casey had a strange Saturday at East Lake, but in the end he was still in the lead and now up there alone.

The Englishman started Round 3 tied for the lead but quickly put himself in charge, as Casey birdied Nos. 3 and 5, eagled the sixth and birdied the seventh to fire out to 5 under on the round through seven, 12 under overall and a four-shot lead.

He then immediately bogeyed Nos. 8 and 9 and fell back into the co-lead after the 10th but regained the solo lead after a birdie on No. 11. A 40-footer at No. 17 for birdie moved Casey back to 12 under and two ahead.

A par at the last gave Casey a 5-under 65 and allowed him to take a two-shot lead at 12 under.

Casey has had a strong year but hasn’t won on the PGA Tour in 2017. In fact, he hasn’t captured a title on Tour since the 2009 Shell Houston Open – still his only PGA Tour win. Casey entered the week having been T-13 or better in six straight Tour starts before a T-33 at the BMW Championship, but he’s now in line for some hardware.

It could be a big payday coming for Casey, too, as he’s currently projected to jump from 10th in the FedEx Cup standings to first, which would mean he could earn the FedEx Cup crown as well if he holds on for the Tour Championship title. It could be a massive Sunday for Casey.

CHASING: Kevin Kisner, who had a helicopter to catch after the round thanks to Justin Thomas, fired a 64 (the round of the day) to jump nine spots to a tie for second at 10 under. Xander Schauffele posted 65 to also reach that number. After that, the leaderboard separates. Brooks Koepka and Patrick Reed are tied for fourth at 7 under, as is Thomas. The 24-year-old began the day tied for the lead but made a double bogey and three bogeys in a 70 that dropped him to that T-4 spot.

SHOT OF THE DAY: This birdie chip from Kisner was absolutely PERFECT.

QUOTABLE: “I’m not far off. I’ve just made some bad mistakes trying to do too much.” – Jordan Spieth, who sits in a tie for 13th at 4 under

SHORT SHOTS: Jason Day is tied for seventh at 6 under, as is Jon Rahm. … Webb Simpson, the third 36-hole co-leader, posted 72 to plummet to a tie for ninth at 5 under. … Dustin Johnson is at 4 under along with Spieth. …  Rickie Fowler is T-28 in the 30-man field at 7 over. … The top 5 in the FedEx Cup standings to begin the week would win the FedEx Cup automatically with a title at East Lake. With none of them in the lead, none from that group are projected to take the FedEx Cup at this moment. Spieth was No. 1 entering the week but is currently projected to drop to No. 3. Thomas is expected to remain at No. 2. Johnson, No. 3 entering East Lake, is projected at No. 4. Marc Leishman (T-22, 1 over) looks to be headed from No. 4 to No. 6. And Jon Rahm is projected to stay in fifth place after this week.

UP NEXT: Golf Channel will air final-round coverage from 12-1:30 p.m. Eastern before NBC takes over for a 1:30-6 p.m. stint. Follow all the action live on Golfweek.com and our Facebook and Twitter feeds.

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