ATLANTA — The cup is close enough now for Hunter Mahan and Aaron Baddeley to seriously consider how much it’s worth to them.
Even if they’re not thinking about the same cup.
Baddeley knew when he showed up at the Tour Championship that it was his last chance to convince captain Greg Norman that he was worth a spot on the Presidents Cup team in his native Melbourne.
He made quite an impression Saturday at East Lake, running off four straight birdies on the back nine for a 6-under 64 and a share of the lead.
Mahan is No. 21 in the FedEx Cup, and after he narrowly wrapped up a spot on the U.S. team, said last week he looked forward to the Tour Championship and “not having to worry about 10 things.”
Now he’s got 10 million things to think about.
Of the top five players in the FedEx Cup, only Luke Donald remains in serious contention. That means Mahan has a shot at the FedEx Cup and its $10 million bonus if he were to win the Tour Championship (and its paltry $1.44 million payoff).
Mahan and Baddeley were at 9-under 201.
Jason Day recovered from a ragged start and had a 69, leaving him only two shots back. The 23-year-old Australian was tied with K.J. Choi, who also started poorly and shot 70.
EUROPE EXTENDS LEAD OVER U.S. TO 7-5: In Dunsany, Ireland, Spanish rookie Azahara Munoz holed a crucial par putt on the 18th to help Europe extend its lead over the United States to 7-5 in the Solheim Cup at Killeen Castle on Saturday.
Americans Cristie Kerr and Paula Creamer were one up on Munoz and Catriona Matthew of Scotland playing the final hole of the morning foursomes session. Kerr missed a 12-foot par putt for a U.S. win and Europe safely two-putted to halve the match.
Europe started the day leading by 4? to 3? points and won the morning session 2?-1? as Swedes Caroline Hedwall and Sophie Gustafson beat Angela Stanford and Stacy Lewis 6 and 5.
Morgan Pressel and Ryann O’Toole had a 3 and 2 victory over Europe’s Karen Stupples and Christel Boeljon.
But Maria Hjorth and Anna Nordqvist beat Brittany Lang and Juli Inkster 3 and 2 to restore Europe’s two-point advantage.
LGA Senior 4-Ball
LAND, DAVIS LEAD CHAMPIONSHIP: In Abita Springs, the team of Bill Land and John Davis of Lafayette shot a 7-under par 65 on Saturday to take a three-shot lead over five teams heading into final round play at the LGA Senior 4-Ball Championship at Money Hill Golf and Country Club.
The teams of Dennis Smith and Brad Mosing of Lafayette, Robert Shelton and Ben Thibeaux of Lafayette, David Harris and Eddie Fielding of Covington, Wiley Conn and George Krause of Mandeville, and John Henchy of Baton Rouge and Scott Haynie of Brusly are in a tie for second.
LOUPE MOVES ON TO NEXT STAGE: Former LSU and Episcopal High golfer advanced to the first qualifying stage at the PGA Q-School by winning the Preliminary Qualifying Stage at the Golf Club of Dallas Saturday.
Loupe shot a 4-under 66 Saturday for a winning tournament total of 7 under.
The top 27 and ties advanced to the next round, which will be held in October.