Strong winds made it difficult for all competitors and led to a traffic jam at the head of the leaderboard of what is the second FedEx Cup Playoff event.
Watson fired a 1-under 70 to finish at 11-under, a shot ahead of Day (67), Scott (71), and Americans Brendan Steele (67), Chez Revie (68), and John Kelly (68).
In a very bunched field another five players were on 9-under including Luke Donald (68) and Charl Schwartzel (72), with a group of seven on 8-under, including a resurgent Geoff Ogilvy who was clawing his way onto the Presidents Cup team with rounds of 69, 70 and 66.
John Senden (67) was on 7-under, Greg Chalmers (71) on 5-under, Marc Leishman (66) 4-under and Robert Allenby (69) on 2-under.
Even Phil Mickelson who started the round 11 shots behind the lead now finds himself only four back on 7-under after a sizzling 63.
“Anybody has a chance,” Watson said.
The tournament is traditionally held a day later than usual because of the Labour Day holiday in the US, giving it a Tuesday morning finish Australian time.
Scott was feeling confident about his chances at a tournament he won in 2003 but said the strong winds and firm greens had made things difficult.
“I think the wind certainly strengthened while I was on the range. It wasn’t that easy to get it close to the hole on a lot of holes, so I didn’t feel like there were that many great opportunities out there. I kind of plodded my way around. I played really well, but nothing really happened for me today,” he said.
Ogilvy had a great start and acknowledged he was fighting to stay in contention in the playoffs and force a Presidents Cup spot.
“Yeah, it was pretty good. It could have been better probably. When you’re 3-under after 4 you kind of feel like you have a chance at a really low one. I needed to have something under par today to give myself a chance to have a decent finish here. [….]. I’m going to need a low one tomorrow,” he said.
“[…] I’d like to have a good enough one to guarantee Atlanta, guarantee Presidents Cup, win the tournament. I just want to keep playing. If I have a half decent round tomorrow, I’m sure I’ll get to Chicago. Then I’ve got to find some way to have four decent rounds around there. Just trying to play well.”2011 Deutsche Bank Championship Leaderboard