After a record-breaking success at Augusta National, world number one Dustin Johnson heads into the Masters’ final round with a commanding lead. In a perfect third round, 65 shots, an eagle and five birdies moved him to 16 under par, equaling the 54-hole record set in 2015 by Jordan Spieth.
Cameron Smith of Australia, Abraham Ancer of Mexico and Sungjae Im of Korea are Johnson’s closest rivals at 12-under par, with Ancer and Im aiming to become the first players to win the green jacket since Fuzzy Zoeller in 1979 in their tournament debut. -16T2 @DJohnsonPGA. Im -12T2 Sungjae. @Abraham AncerT2. AncerT2 A Cameron Smith5. @Dylan-Frittelli -116. -10T7 @JustinThomas34. -9T7 @JSMunozGolf. @PReedGolfT7. GolfT7 @JonRahmPGAT10.10.10. @McIlroyRory-8T10.-8T10. About @BKoepkaT10. @TommyFleetwood1- PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) November 14, 2020 After Tiger Woods in 2002, Johnson will be the first world No. 1 to win the Masters, but when leading or sharing the lead after 54 holes at a major championship, he is 0-4. The 36-year-old reached the U.S. final round in 2010 With a three-shot lead, he opened at Pebble Beach but then slumped with a closing 82, while five years later he threw a single stroke from 10 feet on the 72nd hole at Chambers Bay to trail Spieth. At the 2016 US Open, Johnson ultimately won his first major title after taking a one-stroke penalty in the final round. Two years later, at Shinnecock Hills, he slipped from first to eighth and failed to convert the one-stroke lead at the August US PGA Championship. November 14, 2020 “I’ve just got to go out and execute,” Johnson said. #themasters pic.twitter.com/b3eGFmuLEO- The Masters (@TheMasters) November 14, 2020 “I have a game plan that I’m going to stick to, and hopefully I can shoot a nice number. “For the first time in the history of the Major Championship, the top three players in the world were part of a tie for the lead after the completion of the delayed second round, with Johnson, Jon Rahm and Justin Thomas at nine-under par, along with Ancer and Smith. The stage was set for a shooting on Saturday with defending champion Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson just four shots off the lead and the entire field separated by nine shots, and it was an inspired Johnson who lit the fire. After four of his rivals took the lead on the par-five second hole with a birdie, Johnson almost holed an albatross on the same hole with his second shot before holing out for the easiest of eagles. A birdie at No. 3 expands to two the lead of Dustin Johnson. #themasters pic.twitter.com/pQlF2FjIgb- The Masters (@TheMasters) November 14, 2020 The third, fourth, seventh, 13th and 15th holes were all birded by Johnson when his greatest competitors faltered. On the eighth, Rahm topped his second shot and hit a tree on the seventh with his next en route to a double-bogey, while Thomas bogeyed three of the last five holes to drop six back. I played well and just needed a few more putts,” Johnson, who has finished no worse than sixth in his six starts since testing positive on Covid-19, added on Sky Sports, “It was a really nice day, I know if I can just get the ball in the fairway, I can give myself a lot of good chances to birdie. There are so many really good players around the lead that if I want to play well, I have to go out and play well. Rahm’s round of 72 left him seven shots off the lead on the seventh hole in the third round of the Masters (AP Photo/Matt Slocum), while Rory McIlroy and Tommy Fleetwood were another stroke back after rounds of 67 and 71, respectively. Former champions Danny Willett and Justin Rose joined Fleetwood in beginning the third round at seven below par, but shot 74 a shot after rounds of 67 and 71 respectively.