World number two Dustin Johnson remained firmly in position to win both the Tour Championship and overall FedEx Cup title, not to mention US$11.5m, on day three in Atlanta.
Johnson began the week top of the standings and one of five players who knew victory at East Lake would also secure a 10million US dollar bonus on top of the $1.5m first prize.
And the US Open champion seemed determined to do just that as he turned a one-shot halfway lead into a three-stroke advantage over playing partner Kevin Chappell midway through Saturday's third round.
A hat-trick of birdies from the fourth - from a combined distance of 30 feet - briefly took Johnson four shots clear of the field on 10 under, although the 32-year-old gave the chasing pack a glimmer of hope with a bogey on the seventh.
Chappell had carded nine straight pars to remain six under, with former US PGA champion Jason Dufner and compatriot Ryan Moore a shot further back.
Dufner had made the biggest move of the day with five birdies in his first 13 holes, while Moore had picked up four shots before a bogey on the 11th.
Four-time major winner Rory McIlroy was another stroke back after birdies on the eighth and 13th.
Double Masters champion Bubba Watson had enhanced his chances of being selected for the United States' final Ryder Cup wild card with a 66.
The world number seven, who had opened with rounds of 72 and 73, told Sky Sports 4: "On this golf course if you miss the fairway by a couple of feet, you're dead.
The last couple of days I was a little off. I felt great, my ball striking feels great, it's coming round perfectly and today I made a few more putts."
Asked about the pressure of trying to earn US captain Davis Love's final wild card, Watson added: "I haven't felt any pressure.
"The golf tournament is the only pressure because he's been saying, and also when he talked to me a couple of weeks ago, it wasn't about play, it was about who fits the team and pairs up nicely. It's all about personality and game types, who fits up good, so whatever that means I haven't got the call yet. So I'm waiting."
Even if Watson is overlooked on Sunday evening, he has asked Love if he can be one of his vice-captains at Hazeltine as the home side look to avoid an unprecedented fourth straight defeat.
"Two days after (the first wild cards), I said if you pick (Jim) Furyk and you can have another assistant captain, I want in," Watson added. "I just want to be a part of it.
"The experience of it, the atmosphere, everything about it is what golf is. It's just so much fun. Even though we're trying to beat the other team, we're all friends at the end of it. Sunday night we all hang out, no matter who wins or loses."