Dustin Johnson, who also started the day tied for the lead, shot a three-under 67 to get to nine under.
Jordan Spieth plays from the drop zone after finding the water at the par-3 6th. It took extra time, too, as Johnson needed a big putt at the 72nd hole to force a playoff, where he proceeded to close the tournament out with a birdie at the first extra hole. "Finally rolled in a couple of putts on nine and 10".
"I thought it was going to miss, for sure", he admitted with a laugh.
Spieth fired four of his eight birdies coming in - including three in a row from the 14th through 16th - to card a six-under 64 for a 12-under par total of 198.
Over the 36 holes, Lahiri missed nearly a dozen putts inside 12 feet and a large number of them were inside eight feet and some three-putts, too.
Johnson's drive on the 72 hole found a downslope in the right rough forcing him to lay up and trust his ability to hit a wedge close to the hole rather than attempt the hard shot required to find the putting surface perched high above the fairway.
"I've got a lot of control over the golf ball and I'm feeling really good". Johnson hit his next shot 95 yards, with a wedge, within four feet of the hole.
Cruises could be kept out of Galveston until Tuesday due to hurricane
Carnival Cruise Line has two cruise ships scheduled to arrive in Galveston on Saturday and another two on Sunday. A spokesperson for Carnival said the closure of the Port of Galveston has impacted the Freedom and Valor ships.
DJ played a decent third but left a testing putt for his four.
With Spieth sitting within tap-in range for a certain par, Johnson had to hole the putt, and he read the break and the speed to near perfection to dish out a blow to Spieth. It appeared he would seize the win in regulation at 18 when he stroked his first putt, from 76 feet, to within two feet, guaranteeing par. While Spieth's more conservative line with driver left him with a mid-iron to the green.
Four holes later they were tied, and there was never more than a shot separating them from that point. Describing the impressive display of power and precision under pressure by saying, "It's only 300 carry". There was another two-shot swing at the ninth, where Johnson made a birdie while Spieth three-putted.
Spieth lost for the first time in six tries when leading by at least two, and there wasn't much the No. 2-ranked player could do except take back the tee shot into the water on the par-3 sixth after having a five-shot lead.
Finally, in the year of its 10th anniversary, the FedEx Cup produced the drama that the PGA Tour, the sponsor and the fans have been craving thanks to a titanic battle between two of the world's best at the first of this year's Playoffs events.
"I didn't lose it".
"If we were to announce the Player of the Year today, I would say it would be Justin Thomas", said McIlroy, noting that the race was down to Thomas and Spieth.