Johnson on course for repeat

07 February 2021 01:42:33 GMTPlus10

World number one Dustin Johnson appears on course to win the Saudi International for the second time, after opening up a two-shot lead heading into Sunday's final round.

The Masters champion certainly appears to enjoy playing at Royal Greens Golf and Country Club, as he won the inaugural staging of the event back in 2019 before finishing runner-up to Graeme McDowell 12 months ago.

Now another victory could be on the cards for the 36-year-old, as he produced a third-round score of 66 to move onto 13-under-par for the tournament.

Johnson had not even dropped a shot during his opening 48 holes of this year's event and he held a two-shot lead as he teed up at the par four-13th, but he proceeded to find the water and ended up double bogeying that hole, which dropped him back into a share of the lead.

However, the two-time major winner responded by birdying his final two holes of the day to restore his two-shot advantage heading into Sunday's final round.

Speaking after his round, Johnson said: "It was a good finish. I felt like I played really well all day, other than 13, but I didn't think I hit that bad a shot.

"I pushed it a hair right of the flag, but just came up well short of where I thought it would and ended up making six there.

"Other that than that, I drove it well and hit a lot of really good iron shots in there to give myself a lot of good chances at birdie. Didn't hole a whole lot of putts, but finishing nicely definitely helped the day out."

Frenchman Victor Perez is Johnson's nearest rival, after a second successive round of 66 left him two shots off the pace on 11-under, while Race to Dubai leader Tyrrell Hatton is a stroke further back alongside fellow Englishman Andy Sullivan, American Tony Finau and Dane Soren Kjeldsen.

Johnson is 1.002 to complete a victory, with Perez 101.00 and Hatton 2001.00.

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