Luke Donald held a one-shot lead after a superb outward 32 in his second round of the Tour Championship in Atlanta today.
While joint overnight leader Paul Casey remained four under par, Donald improved to seven under with birdies on the fourth, seventh and ninth.
The only member of Europe’s Ryder Cup team in the elite 30-man field – Casey, of course, was controversially not given a wild card – Donald was one in front of Australian Geoff Ogilvy.
And it put him on course for an amazing €8.4m jackpot – nearly €7.5m of it as the overall winner of the FedEx Cup play-off series.
Casey, Donald and Ogilvy shared the overnight lead and Casey was the one to strike first.
His opening drive was pushed behind trees, but from there he pitched to within three of the flag and birdied.
However, he could not recover from finding the rough off the fifth tee and with a bogey returned to four under.
His playing partner Jim Furyk moved out in front with three birdies in the first six – that included chipping in on the first – but bogeyed the next and turned in 33.
Defending champion Phil Mickelson, needing a top-two finish to replace Tiger Woods as world number one, did not make the move he was hoping for.
With seven holes to play Mickelson was in a tie for 13th at level par and one over for his round.
Justin Rose, disappointed to start with a 74, improved by six shots on his return to East Lake, although it moved him only from 22nd to 17th place on two over.
After a front nine of 35, Rose almost holed his approach to the 12th - Mickelson did make two there in the first round – and also birdied the 14th.
Scot Martin Laird, joint last after an opening 75, was bringing up the rear on his own when he added only a 73.
It was shaping up to be worse than that, though, when he went in the lake for the second day running on the short sixth and found more water en route to another double bogey at the long ninth.
But Laird, who lost a play-off to Kuchar in the first FedEx Cup event, came home in a one-under 34.