Dustin Johnson poised to break Canadian Open duck

World number one in a four-way tie for the lead heading into final round in Ontario

Dustin Johnson in action during the third round of the CanadianOpen in Ontario. Photograph:  Minas Panagiotakis/Getty

Dustin Johnson in action during the third round of the CanadianOpen in Ontario. Photograph: Minas Panagiotakis/Getty

 

Dustin Johnson fired a seven-under 65 to seize a share of the third round lead at the Canadian Open on Saturday, setting the world number one up for another shot at a title that has slipped his grasp.

Twice a runner-up in Canada, Johnson used a scorching start that included five birdies over his first six holes and a birdie-birdie-eagle rampage on the back nine to get to 17-under.

He was in a four-way tie at the top of the leaderboard with South Koreans Kim Whee (67), An Byeong-hun (66) and American compatriot Kevin Tway (68), whose father Bob Tway hoisted the Canadian crown in 2003.

With 18 PGA Tour wins, including two this season, Johnson will head into Sunday’s final round as the heavy favourite since the three other men sharing the lead are all chasing maiden PGA Tour titles.

American Hudson Swafford and South African Rory Sabbatini sit four off the pace on 13-under.

Shane Lowry is a further two shots back on 11 under par after he produced his best round of the week on Saturday, with a 68 - including an eagle three on the 16th - moving him into a share of 13th place.

Lowry is one of eight players tied on 11 under, including Tommy Fleetwood and Tony Finau, as he looks to get into the top-10 on Sunday. Graeme McDowell lies a shot behind Lowry after he shot a third round 67.

“I want to win just because I like to win but this is the last one here so it would mean a lot to get it done here tomorrow as I have finished second here twice,” said Johnson.

“I like the golf course, my game is in really good form, I have a lot of confidence in it but I’m going to have to go out and play really well tomorrow.

“There are some really low numbers out there. Somebody is going to shoot low and I just hope it’s me.”

After missing his first cut of the year last week at the British Open, Johnson has been almost flawless at Glen Abbey.

Having wrapped up a bogey free 66 with a birdie on Friday, Johnson picked up where he left off by carding three consecutive birdies on Saturday.

The 34-year-old American, who started the day three off the pace, took a breather with a par at the fourth but was quickly back in top gear as he hit birdies in the fifth and sixth holes en route to an error free start. The back nine, however, did not begin as brightly. Johnson collected his first bogey since Thursday’s opening round and quickly followed that up with his second at the par-five 13th.

But Johnson was able get back on track with birdies at the 14th and 15th before rolling in a 23-foot putt at the 16th for an eagle.

Kim had a more adventurous day grabbing and surrendering the outright lead with an eagle, bogey, par closing stretch. Overnight leader Tway could not match the early birdie binge and was slowly pushed down the leaderboard before responding with three birdies over his final four holes to join the party.

Third round scores in the RBC Canadian Open (USA unless stated, par 72):

199 Dustin Johnson 68 66 65, Whee Kim (Kor) 67 65 67, Byeong-Hun An (Kor) 66 67 66, Kevin Tway 66 65 68
203 Rory Sabbatini (Rsa) 68 67 68, Hudson Swafford 66 70 67
204 Danny Lee (Nzl) 68 69 67, Joel Dahmen 69 68 67, Chris Stroud 65 72 67, Abraham Ancer (Mex) 73 66 65, Robert Garrigus 63 72 69, Johnson Wagner 68 65 71
205 Charley Hoffman 68 71 66, Tony Finau 71 67 67, Keegan Bradley 69 63 73, Shane Lowry (Irl) 70 67 68, Tommy Fleetwood (Eng) 66 71 68, Mackenzie Hughes (Can) 69 69 67, Tyler Duncan 71 69 65, Zac Blair 67 67 71
206 Andrew Putnam 67 68 71, Graeme McDowell (NIrl) 67 72 67, George Cunningham 67 70 69, Ryan Yip (Can) 68 72 66, Jamie Lovemark 71 69 66, Ricky Barnes 67 70 69, Joaquin Niemann (Chi) 67 67 72, Brandt Snedeker 68 70 68
207 Gary Woodland 67 72 68, Stewart Cink 70 69 68, Ethan Tracy 70 67 70, Jimmy Walker 70 69 68, Ian Poulter (Eng) 66 69 72, Jhonattan Vegas (Ven) 69 70 68, Troy Merritt 71 68 68, Nick Taylor (Can) 68 67 72
208 Steve Stricker 68 69 71, Jason Kokrak 69 69 70, Shawn Stefani 70 70 68, Harold Varner III 69 67 72, Scott Stallings 70 69 69, William McGirt 69 70 69
209 Peter Malnati 70 70 69, Benjamin Silverman (Can) 73 63 73, David Hearn (Can) 68 72 69, Matt Every 68 72 69, Lanto Griffin 69 68 72, Aaron Baddeley (Aus) 68 66 75, Chad Campbell 72 66 71, Jim Furyk 69 71 69, Keith Mitchell 69 71 69, Dominic Bozzelli 67 71 71
210 Brian Stuard 70 66 74, Adam Schenk 64 75 71, Nick Watney 69 71 70, Roger Sloan (Can) 68 69 73, Ryan Palmer 68 72 70, Martin Piller 72 67 71, Steve Wheatcroft 68 68 74, Alex Cejka (Ger) 69 67 74, Si Woo Kim (Kor) 68 72 70, Chris Crisologo (Can) 68 69 73, Rob Oppenheim 68 68 74, Zach Wright 69 71 70
211 Ryan Blaum 69 71 71, James Hahn 68 70 73
212 J.B. Holmes 74 66 72, Rod Pampling (Aus) 67 70 75, Kelly Kraft 71 68 73, John Huh 70 70 72
213 Cameron Percy (Aus) 68 68 77, Jonathan Randolph 72 65 76
214 Martin Flores 68 71 75, Sean O’Hair 71 69 74, David Lingmerth (Swe) 69 70 75
215 Chris Kirk 67 72 76
216 Stephan Jaeger (Ger) 69 71 76
217 Sam Ryder 69 70 78

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