Dustin Johnson leads US PGA after Saturday charge

Brooks Koepka lurking two off the lead as McIlroy and Lowry fail to make their move

Dustin Johnson on the 15th tee during the third round at TPC Harding Park. Photograph: Sean M Haffey/Getty

Dustin Johnson on the 15th tee during the third round at TPC Harding Park. Photograph: Sean M Haffey/Getty

 

Dustin Johnson leads the US PGA Championship after a five-under-par 65 saw him emerge from a packed leaderboard including many young stars of golf.

Johnson fired eight birdies in a third round at TPC Harding Park to finish the day at nine under par, holding a one-shot lead over fellow Americans Cameron Champ and Scottie Scheffler.

Defending champion Brooks Koepka, who is seeking an historic third straight victory in the event, is two shots off the pace alongside Collin Morikawa and England’s Paul Casey, with Justin Rose and Tommy Fleetwood part of a six-strong group on six under.

Neither Shane Lowry nor Rory McIlroy made a move on Saturday – Lowry with a one-under-par 69, McIlroy with a one-over-par 71.

Lowry had an impressive six birdies in his round but a double bogey on the sixth hole and three other bogeys killed his momentum. McIlroy’s 71 included four birdies and five bogeys.

The top 17 names on the leaderboard are separated by just four shots in what promises to be a thrilling conclusion to the first major championship in 13 months.

“I’ve been in contention a lot and I’ve got it done a lot of times,” said Johnson, who finished second behind Koepka last year. “Tomorrow, it’s no different. I’m going to have to play good golf if I want to win.

“It’s simple. I’ve got to hit a lot of fairways and a lot of greens. If I can do that I’m going to have a good chance coming down the stretch on the back nine.

“Just take what the golf course gives me and just keep on going because it doesn’t really matter what other guys are doing. All I can control is myself.”

Koepka’s tournament threatened to unravel after bogeys at the 13th, 14th and 15th. He responded in typical style; two birdies in the closing three holes leaves Koepka just two adrift of Johnson. “Everything seems like it is coming together,” warned Koepka.

Rory McIlroy is out of contention heading into the final round at Harding Park. Photograph: Tom Pennington/Getty
Rory McIlroy is out of contention heading into the final round at Harding Park. Photograph: Tom Pennington/Getty

Bryson DeChambeau has been golf’s most talked about post-lockdown player; not always for the right reasons. Yet the Californian’s bulked up body and huge increase in power is delivering results. A third round of 66 left DeChambeau at six under and well within range of Johnson. The highlight of his round being an amazing 95-foot birdie putt on the final hole.

“I’m proud of myself that I’ve been able to change my body, change everything, and give myself a chance to win,” said DeChambeau. “That’s something that I think is difficult to do. When somebody goes and changes themselves, there’s usually a little struggle with that.

“So I really am blessed and proud that I’m able to be healthy and have the ability to compete for a major championship.” – Guardian/PA

Collated scores

(USA unless stated, par 70):

201 Dustin Johnson 69 67 65

202 Scottie Scheffler 66 71 65, Cameron Champ 71 64 67

203 Brooks Koepka 66 68 69, Paul Casey (Eng) 68 67 68, Collin Morikawa 69 69 65

204 Daniel Berger 67 67 70, Jason Day (Aus) 65 69 70, Tony Finau 67 70 67, Justin Rose (Eng) 66 68 70, Tommy Fleetwood (Eng) 70 64 70, Bryson DeChambeau 68 70 66

205 Haotong Li (Chn) 67 65 73, Matthew Wolff 69 68 68, Joel Dahmen 69 68 68, Xander Schauffele 66 70 69, Si Woo Kim (Kor) 69 68 68

206 Mike Lorenzo-Vera (Fra) 66 68 72, Hideki Matsuyama (Jpn) 70 67 69, Bernd Wiesberger (Aut) 68 68 70

207 Harold Varner III 72 66 69, Patrick Cantlay 73 68 66, Lanto Griffin 68 68 71, Webb Simpson 71 68 68, Brendon Todd 65 70 72, Jon Rahm (Spa) 70 69 68, Ian Poulter (Eng) 73 68 66, Dylan Frittelli (Rsa) 70 67 70, Patrick Reed 68 70 69

208 Adam Scott (Aus) 68 70 70, Victor Perez (Fra) 70 69 69, Keith Mitchell 68 72 68, Kevin Kisner 67 73 68

209 Charl Schwartzel (Rsa) 73 68 68, Alex Noren (Swe) 67 69 73, Adam Hadwin (Can) 68 71 70, Nate Lashley 69 70 70, Harris English 69 71 69, Brendan Steele 66 71 72, Justin Thomas 71 70 68, Denny McCarthy 70 69 70, Shane Lowry (Irl) 68 72 69

210 Bud Cauley 66 71 73, Kurt Kitayama 68 72 70, Brian Harman 68 71 71, Doc Redman 73 67 70, Emiliano Grillo (Arg) 70 70 70, Cameron Smith (Aus) 71 69 70, Rory McIlroy (NIrl) 70 69 71, Mackenzie Hughes (Can) 73 68 69, Brandt Snedeker 72 66 72

211 Phil Mickelson 72 69 70, Luke List 72 69 70, Abraham Ancer (Mex) 69 70 72, Russell Henley 71 69 71, Mark Hubbard 70 71 70, Billy Horschel 69 71 71, Louis Oosthuizen (Rsa) 70 71 70

212 Tiger Woods 68 72 72, Sepp Straka (Aut) 70 71 71, Joost Luiten (Ned) 71 68 73, Viktor Hovland (Nor) 68 71 73, Byeong-Hun An (Kor) 72 69 71, Gary Woodland 67 72 73, Kevin Streelman 69 70 73, Tom Hoge 72 68 72, Jim Herman 71 69 72

213 Rory Sabbatini (Svk) 71 70 72, Adam Long 73 68 72

214 Danny Lee (Nzl) 69 71 74, Robert Macintyre (Sco) 73 67 74, Bubba Watson 70 71 73

215 Matt Wallace (Eng) 71 70 74, Erik Van Rooyen (Rsa) 71 70 74

216 JT Poston 67 74 75, Ryan Palmer 74 66 76, Chez Reavie 71 70 75

217 Sung Kang (Kor) 70 71 76, Jordan Spieth 73 68 76

Selected tee times

5.50pm: Rory McIlroy, Kurt Kitayama

6.40pm: Shane Lowry, Nate Lashley

9pm: Daniel Berger, Tommy Fleetwood

9.10pm: Justin Rose, Jason Day

9.20pm: Tony Finau, Bryson DeChambeau

9.30pm: Brooks Koepka, Paul Casey

9.40pm: Collin Morikawa, Cameron Champ

9.50pm: Dustin Johnson, Scottie Scheffler

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