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Snedeker leaps out of pack to challenge McIlroy for $10 million bonus

updated 7:15 PM EDT, Sat September 22, 2012
Brandt Snedeker tees off on his way to his six-under 64 at East Lakes in the Tour Championship.
Brandt Snedeker tees off on his way to his six-under 64 at East Lakes in the Tour Championship.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Brandt Snedeker and Justin Rose share third round lead in Atlanta
  • Snedeker in contention for $10 million FedEx Cup playoff title
  • World No.1 Rory McIlroy three off the pace in Tour Championship
  • Tiger Woods four back at East Lakes

(CNN) -- Brandt Snedeker stepped up his bid to win the FedEx Cup playoffs with a superb six-under 64 at East Lakes Saturday to share the third round lead with England's Justin Rose at the Tour Championship.

Ryder Cup wildcard pick Snedeker was one of five players, standings leader Rory McIlroy, Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Nick Watney the others, who came to Atlanta knowing that the $10 million bonus payout was theirs with victory come Sunday.

World No.1 McIlroy carded a battling 68 to share fourth place on five-under with halfway leader Jim Furyk and Masters champion Bubba Watson.

PGA Tour Championship: Round one
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Furyk takes command as Woods fades

The Northern Irishman made a crucial par saving putt on the 18th to stay in touch with the leaders going into the last day.

"I wanted to make it because I didn't want to give a shot away right at the end," he told Sky Sports.

"It's one of those courses where I don't think anyone is really going that low. I might need one and hopefully I have saved it for the last day."

Ryan Moore was alone in third on six-under, while Woods kept his chances of overall glory alive with a 67 to trail by four shots.

Last year's U.S. money list winner Luke Donald of England was a further shot behind after holing his second shot to the 14th for a spectacular eagle two.

Furyk, who won the FedEx Cup two years ago, looked set to share the lead with Snedeker and the consistent Rose, but ran up a triple bogey on the 18th after finding the water.

Snedeker, who has fought back after a poor opening round, was delighted with his efforts.

He told the official PGA Tour website: "My first goal for this week is achieved, and that is to have a chance going into Sunday."

Rose, who has virtually no hope of claiming the top prize, is concentrating on capping his season with the Tour Championship title.

"It's not an easy golf course. Things can happen out there. But for me, it's about one tournament.

"I wish I would be in the situation that Brandt's in. I would trade him, but obviously that's the position I'm in."

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