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Scott charge stalls at East Lake

World No.6 Adam Scott continues to be well off leader Dustin Johnson's pace at the Tour Championship
Scott charge stalls at East Lake
Photo Source: AP

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Australia's hopes of a lucrative FedEx Cup title via world No.6 Adam Scott have taken a nosedive after the third round of the Tour Championship at East Lake Golf Club.

Late stumbles from world No.2 Dustin Johnson on Saturday ensured some hope for those who played well, but unfortunately Scott was not one of the players to cash in.

After a one-under-69 Johnson remains in front, tied for the lead with fellow American Kevin Chappell (68) at eight-under 202.

Johnson, who's guaranteed the season-long FedEx Cup and a $US11.53 million ($A15.10 million) payday if he wins on Sunday, carded two bogeys and a double bogey in his last six holes, but countered them with two birdies to stay on top.

He's chasing a fourth win of the season and his 13th career title.

Chappell has yet to win on the US PGA Tour but has a great opportunity to do so, although his chances at the FedEx Cup are much slimmer because he would need Johnson so slide well down the leaderboard.

Rory McIlroy and Ryan Moore shot 66s to move to six under and within striking distance.

Former No.1 McIlroy would win the $US10 million bonus if he won and Johnson was not second alone.

Scott opened with a bogey but managed three birdies in his next five holes to start a potential charge towards challenging the leaders, pulling within five shots.

But then disaster struck.

Facing a four-foot par save on the seventh green, Scott three-putted for a sloppy double bogey.

To compound the error, a poor tee shot on the eighth set up a risky approach shot and the Queenslander found water on the way to a triple bogey.

A birdie on the ninth stopped the rot but he managed just one more birdie on his final hole to post a 71, sitting one over for the week and a distant nine shots off the pace.

"That'll derail any round. It's unfortunate because otherwise I maybe would have had a chance," Scott said.

"Obviously I'm not playing my best when I do stuff like that. Around a tough course you pay the price."

World No.1 Jason Day withdrew from the tournament in round two with a back injury.

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