Third round leaderboard:
-8 J Furyk (US) -7 R Goosen (SA), L Donald (Eng) -5 G Ogilvy (Aus) Selected others: -4 P Casey (Eng) -1 P Mickelson (US) +3 E Els (SA) +4 J Rose (Eng)
Donald was keen to focus on the plus points of his round
England's Luke Donald was only one shot off the pace despite a double-bogey towards the end of his third round 71 at the Tour Championship in Atlanta.
The 32-year-old was one in front at the turn but a seven at the 15th saw him finish the day joint second with Retief Goosen (66) on seven under par.
American Jim Furyk carded a level-par 70 to head the field but Donald said: "I'm in a great position."
Paul Casey is also in the hunt after a 69 left him on four under.
Donald, a member of the European Ryder Cup team for the forthcoming match against the USA, made a perfect start with a superb tee-shot and 10-foot birdie putt on the par-three second.
He dropped a shot at the fifth but three safe pars were followed by a four at the long ninth, which gave him a one-stroke advantage over Furyk, who will be in the US team at Celtic Manor.
Furyk managed back-to-back birdies at 14 and 15 and although he bogeyed the 17th, he remained in front after Donald's excursions into the rough and a greenside bunker.
"I was in pretty good shape after two shots but hit a horrible wedge (into the bunker) and three-putted to rack up a seven," said Donald.
"I'll try to forget that and other than that it was a pretty solid day. I'd rather be level with Jim than one behind - he's a very solid player - but it was one of those days where I had a few putts that hit the edge of the hole. I am still in good shape."
South African Goosen had five birdies in his round and would have shared the lead with Furyk if he had not taken four at the short 18th.
Australia's Geoff Ogilvy, meanwhile, lies fourth on five under after a 72, with Casey and Kevin Na sharing fifth place.
Nick Watney of the US produced the round of the day, bouncing back after dropping two strokes early in his round to hole nine birdies - seven of them on the back nine, which he covered in just 28 strokes for a 63, which left him on two under.
The tournament, which carries a first prize of £868,000, is the last event of the FedEx Cup series, with the overall winner set to pocket a cheque for £6.4m ($10m).
That jackpot is guaranteed to be Casey's if he wins the tournament. If Donald takes the title, he could only be denied the top prize if either of the current top two FedEx points leaders Matt Kuchar and Dustin Johnson finishes second.
Such an outcome is unlikely with Kuchar 12 behind Furyk following a 72 and Johnson three shots further back following a 73.