Stenson stays four ahead at wet East Lake

Sat Sep 21, 2013 3:15pm EDT
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By Mark Lamport-Stokes

ATLANTA (Reuters) - Henrik Stenson retained his four shot lead in the season-ending Tour Championship despite dropping four shots in torrential rain over the closing holes of Saturday's third round.

With the FedExCup playoff title and a bonus jackpot of $10 million also on the line at East Lake Golf Club, Stenson carded a one-under-par 69 in difficult scoring conditions to stay on track for all those honors.

The Swede, ranked second in the FedExCup points standings, raced to the turn in four-under 31 to briefly lead by nine strokes but dropped four shots on the back nine to post an 11-under total of 199.

Long-hitting Dustin Johnson, who narrowly squeezed into the elite field of 30 players, fired a 67 to sit alone in second place at seven under, two ahead of fellow American Steve Stricker (68).

FedExCup points leader Tiger Woods, seeking a sixth PGA Tour victory this season, was a distant 14 strokes off the pace after returning his first sub-par score this week, a 69.

"I think I'll choose to look at it from the bright side even though the weather is not that bright at the moment," Stenson told reporters.

"Started the day with a four-shot lead and I've still got it, so that's all that matters really. I had it going, and I had a much larger lead than that for a while.

"Then the rain came, and I started hitting a couple of loose ones on the back nine. It was just hard. It was just a grind to get finished. I'm happy we got the round done."   Continued...

Henrik Stenson of Sweden hits from the rough off the 17th fairway during the third round of the Tour Championship golf tournament at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta, Georgia September 21, 2013. REUTERS/Tami Chappell (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT GOLF)