NORTON, Mass. -- Bubba Watson was standing on the 11th tee on Sunday afternoon with a two-shot lead at the Deutsche Bank Championship. He was 3-under par for the day and 13 under for the tournament.
Coming off a birdie at the 10th hole, it looked like the 32-year-old former Georgia All-American would run away with the tournament. But the wind was swirling on the 231-yard hole and Watson was unsure about what to do. A steady breeze now replaced the calm skies that had helped Phil Mickelson to an 8-under 63 in the morning.
When Watson finally played his shot, he missed left into a little collection area and couldn't get up and down for par. He would also bogey the 12th and then the 15th to bring a host of players back into the tournament.
Late in the afternoon, there were as many as five players tied for the lead at 10-under par. Names that we hadn't really talked about all week -- such as Jason Day, Brendan Steele and Chez Reavie -- all of sudden had a shot at winning the tournament.
Although Watson would retake the lead with a birdie at the short par-4 17th hole to shoot a third-round 70 and take a one-shot lead over that large group at 10 under, Monday's final round promises to be an exciting finish.
"I hear it's going to be breezy again tomorrow," said Day, who after a 4-under 67 on Sunday will play in the final group with Watson. "I think you'll probably see much of the same. Maybe it'll play a little bit tougher. It just depends on how they set the golf course up.
"I'm sure they're going to make some gettable pins, but they're going to try to make it as exciting as possible."
In the contingent of players a shot back of Watson, Reavie is the most surprising. Starting the year on a major medical exemption after reconstructive knee surgery in 2010, Reavie had 13 events to earn roughly $600,000 to keep his tour card. Reavie's status is so tenuous on the PGA Tour that he's not even guaranteed a spot in all four of the Fall Finish events.
Reavie, the '08 RBC Canadian Open winner, has missed the cut in eight of 23 starts this season, but owns three top-10s, including a ninth-place finish at the Wyndham Championship that helped him get into the playoffs.
"It's been a strange year," said the 29-year-old Reavie, who shot his second straight 68 on Sunday. "I started off, it seems, like every couple of weeks I had some sort of deadline. I had two weeks to make this, I had two more weeks to do this, and then I had a week to make a certain number to get into the Memorial.
"I might be the only guy in the field who's used to not knowing if I'm in next week."
Of the 10-under group coming into this week, Reavie was also the only one outside the top 70 that will go on to Chicago in two weeks. After missing the cut last week at the Barclays, he arrived at the Deutsche Bank ranked 87th in the FedEx Cup playoff standings.
But Steele might be the most inexperienced of the bunch, despite his win in April at the Valero Texas Open. At 54th in the playoff race, the 28-year-old rookie is playing in his first FedEx Cup playoffs. Although he fell off in the final round at the PGA Championship with a 77, he did lead a major after 54 holes.
"I was up there with the best players in the world through three rounds, so I can definitely take a lot from that," Steele said. "I feel pretty confident about my game and where it sits compared to the best players in the world.
"Somebody is going to have to definitely go and take this tournament. Somebody is going to have to go and shoot a really low round."
In last year's final round, Charley Hoffman shot 62 to take home the winner's check.
There are five players two shots back of Watson at 9 under, including last year's overall playoff winner Jim Furyk, who shot a 66 on Sunday. Out of that group you have Gary Woodland, Webb Simpson, Luke Donald and Charl Schwartzel -- each of whom has won a tournament in 2011, making this one of the most star-studded leaderboards of the season.
Rickie Fowler is in a group of seven players at 8 under after a 70 on Sunday. The 22-year-old former Oklahoma State star got it briefly to 11-under par before making three bogeys on the inward nine. In just his second year on tour, it seems he's done everything but win.
"I've been playing well the last two and half to three months and I've had some good finishes," said Fowler, whose best finish of the year was a tie for second at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational in August. "I just need to get off to a good start, drive it in the fairway and give myself the opportunity to move up the leaderboard."
On Monday, it could all come down to the weather. There is rain in the forecast with winds expected between 10-to-20 mph. In his post-round interview, Watson admitted that he was clearly confused by the way the breeze was blowing at the 11th hole.
"I wasn't sure what the wind was doing," he said. "Yesterday I hit a 6-iron. Today I was trying to hit a 6-iron but dead straight, like a low bullet is what I call it. I just came out of it, not trusting it, not trusting it was going to get there."
It's likely that when Watson tees off Monday at 1:45 p.m. ET, he won't still have the lead as there are 28 players within five shots of him.
"I mean, anybody has a chance," Watson said. "It just depends on who's got the hot putter or how bad the wind is. Even par might give me the victory. Today it started firming up the last few holes today, so tomorrow, if it stays the same, it's probably going to be a pretty tough finish."
Farrell Evans covers golf for ESPN and can be contacted at email@example.com.