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AFP
August 10, 2020

Johnson grabs one-shot lead at PGA Championship

Sports

AFP
August 10, 2020

SAN FRANCISCO: Dustin Johnson drained eight birdies to fire a five-under par 65 and seize a one-shot lead after a blistering third round performance at the PGA Championship on Saturday.

Johnson had four birdies on the front nine then birdied three of his final five holes to reach nine-under 201 at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco.

It was the eighth straight round in the 60s at the PGA Championship for Johnson, who nearly chased down Brooks Koepka in the final round at Bethpage Black last year before losing by two shots.

“I putted really well,” said Johnson, who shot 31 on the back nine. “That was key. But I hit a lot of good shots to give myself some good looks because the flags are tucked. The greens are firm and fast. So I did hit a lot of quality iron shots.”

Americans Scottie Scheffler (65) and Cameron Champ (67) are tied for second at eight-under 202.

Two-time defending champion Koepka shot a one-under 69 and is tied for fourth with American Collin Morikawa and England’s Paul Casey on 203.

The tournament is being played without spectators due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Koepka, who is trying to become the first since the 1950s to win the same major three years in a row, looked unflappable until a bogey on the 13th hole began his back nine struggles.

A stretch of three straight bogeys moved Koepka down the leaderboard but he recovered quickly with birdies on 16 and 18.

Johnson roared home Saturday, making birdie putts of 26 feet on the par-4 15th and 20 feet on the par-3 17th.