NORTON, Mass. — Abraham Ancer of Mexico opened with three straight birdies on his way to a 6-under 65 to take a one-shot lead Sunday over a familiar figure going into the final round of the Dell Technologies Championship.

It wasn’t Tiger Woods, but the guy playing with him – Bryson DeChambeau, who is coming off a four-shot victory in the first FedEx Cup playoff event and shot 63 while playing with Woods for the first time in a tournament.

Tyrrell Hatton (69) joined DeChambeau one shot behind.

It figures to be another frantic Labor Day finish at TPC Boston.

Ancer, at No. 92 in the FedEx Cup standings and just hopeful of getting into the top 70 to advance to the playoff event next week outside Philadelphia, was at 13-under 200. A victory would assure a trip to the Tour Championship and a spot in the Masters.

Even with just 18 holes left, that’s a long way off.

Ten players were within four shots of the lead, a group that included Justin Rose, Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth.

Woods had to settle for a 69 that left him in a tie for 16th, six shots behind. At least he saw plenty of good golf. DeChambeau has become one of his regular practice partners, though they had never been in the same group until Sunday.

DeChambeau opened with two birdies and finished even stronger, with short birdie putts on the 16th and 17th and then a 5-iron from 237 yards that stopped rolling 2 feet from the hole, setting up an eagle.

“He’s my childhood idol,” DeChambeau said. “I’ve admired him my whole entire life. And to be finally able to play with him under tournament conditions, it was different. I was a little nervous, for sure. But I was able to get out there and execute shots and worry about my game and focus on hitting the best shots possible. And I was able to play really well like that.”

Not since Vijay Singh in 2008 has anyone captured the opening two playoff tournaments. DeChambeau led by four shots at Ridgewood Country Club last week and never was seriously challenged. This time, the 24-year-old Californian will have to come from a shot behind against a 27-year-old playing in only his 49th PGA Tour event.

Hatton had the lead until his approach on the par-4 12th went off a cart path and into the trees, and a search party of some three dozen fans and volunteers never found it. He did well to escape with a double bogey, and then finished with a birdie for a 69.

Justin Rose (70) and Cameron Smith (67) were another shot behind, followed by Emiliano Grillo (64) and Kyle Stanley (66).

McIlroy was making a charge until hitting into the water on the 16th hole and missing a short putt at the 18th. He had to settle for a 68 and was in a group at 9-under 204 that included Beau Hossler (68), Ryder Cup hopeful Tony Finau (67) and Spieth (68).

On another gorgeous day that allowed for good scoring, Spieth didn’t make a birdie until the seventh hole, dropped two shots on the tough stretch of the back nine, then answered with two birdies and at least gave himself a chance.


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