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Johnson grabs lead at Tournament of Champions

World number one Dustin Johnson

Hawaii, January 7: World number one Dustin Johnson shot a seven-under-par 66 to claim a two-stroke lead following the third round at the Tournament of Champions.

After three quiet birdies on the front nine, Johnson took the lead on the back nine when he drained his second shot on the par-four 12th for an eagle on Saturday (January 6).

Johnson then added three more birdies the rest of the way to maintain an advantage at 16 under through 54 holes.

Fellow American Brian Harman bogeyed two of his first three holes on the back nine, but rallied down the stretch to post a four-under 69 to be within two shots of the lead at Kapalua in Hawaii.

Jon Rahm, ranked fourth in the world, moved into third heading into Sunday's final round after firing a 66.

Rahm finished his last five holes in five under, including an eagle on the par-five 15th, as he closed within four strokes of Johnson.

"Great round. Bogey-free," Rahm said after his round. "I didn't think this week it was going to be a bogey-free week, but really extremely content for what happened today. Felt really comfortable throughout, especially on my short game."

Rickie Fowler and Jason Dufner enter the final round tied for fourth.

Fowler caught fire late with three birdies in his last five holes, but missed a makeable birdie on the par-five 18th.

Dufner shot a four-under 69 on Saturday with two birdies in his last four holes, meanwhile, Jordan Spieth is eight shots off the pace after his third-round 70.

"It was a good solid day," Fowler said after his round.

"I missed a somewhat short one on five for a birdie early in the round. Kind of started off slowly, a bunch of pars, but it was nice to birdie nine. I played solidly on the back nine and, yeah, it would have been nice to have the one on 18 go in, but I feel like we put ourselves in a decent position for tomorrow."

Defending PGA Tour Player of the Year Justin Thomas used his father as his caddie because his usual caddie Jimmy Johnson was dealing with an injury.

Thomas is two over for the tournament following back-to-back 75s.

Johnson targeting Masters after 2017 injury

Source: OPTA

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    Story first published: Sunday, January 7, 2018, 6:00 [IST]
    Other articles published on Jan 7, 2018
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