Johnson's five-shot lead made him a prohibitive favourite for victory and he responded to a flurry of early birdies from his rivals with three of his own in the first six holes.
"I'm fortunate enough where I don't need to think about that (money)".
Schauffele upped the pressure with birdies at 11 and 12 to chop another stroke off Johnson's advantage while Thomas did the same with birdie at 16.
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Players at the event are handicapped based on FedEx Cup points earned during the season and the top 30 in the rankings contend the Tour Championship.
"Now I'm going to try to get me another".
It was the fourth event in a row in which Johnson had led or shared the lead after 54 holes, aided by starting on 10 under par thanks to the controversial handicap system adopted past year for the FedEx Cup play-offs. "I really feel like everything is dialed in pretty well". I had a lead but I still had to go out and play well today, I had a lot of great players right behind me and they played some great golf today.
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World No. 2 and BMW Championship victor Jon Rahm - second to Johnson in the FedEx Cup race - is outright fourth after shooting a 66 to be 13 under. "No lead is safe", Johnson said.
McIlroy, who celebrated becoming a father for the first time with the birth of daughter Poppy a week ago, carded five birdies and two bogeys in a closing 67.
"It was a tough day, tough golf course, and I'm definitely excited it's over and that I can celebrate a little bit now".
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Also among the few onlookers was Williams' three-year-old daughter who was filmed clapping approvingly at one point. The third-round match is the drawcard event on day six at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in NY .
"The prestige, for sure", Johnson said after delivering a key par putt and steady play down the stretch for a 2-under 68 and a three-shot victory in the Tour Championship. And on the par-5 18th, Johnson unleashed a drive that started left along the pine trees and faded gently toward the middle of the fairway. Since that runner-up finish, Johnson won the Northern Trust, lost in a playoff to John Rahm at the BMW Championship and won this week's Tour Championship in Atlanta. I've got a lot of confidence in every part of my game right now. "So I'm looking forward to tomorrow". "I've been close several times".