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AS IT STANDS -9 Dustin Johnson; -8 Scottie Scheffler, Cameron Champ; -7 Brooks Koepka, Collin Morikawa, Paul Casey; -6 Bryson DeChambeau, Tony Finau, Justin Rose, Tommy Fleetwood, Daniel Berger, Jason Day OTHERS E Rory McIlroy; +2 Tiger Woods; +4 Robert MacIntyre
“Just get it done.”
That’s the attitude Dustin Johnson is taking into the final round of the US PGA Championship as he looks to win his second major.
The 36-year-old shot to the top of the leaderboard in the first major of this rejigged season courtesy of a five-under 65 – his eighth consecutive round in the 60s in the US PGA. It could have been even better but for a double-bogey six at the ninth.
Despite that blemish, it was an exceptional day’s work for 2016 US Open champion Johnson. With 18 holes to play, he leads by one from compatriots Cameron Champ and Scottie Scheffler, with back-to-back defending champion Brooks Koepka a further shot adrift on seven-under alongside Collin Morikawa and Paul Casey.
Bryson DeChambeau, Tony Finau and Daniel Berger are all six-under, as are English duo Justin Rose and Tommy Fleetwood and 2015 champion Jason Day.
With 20 players within five shots of the lead – and eight of the top-12 looking for their first major win – the stage is set for a thrilling final round shootout at TPC Harding Park.
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This week marks Johnson’s 43rd career start in a major. He says he’ll be drawing on all of that experience as he bids to ensure it’s his name that is engraved on the Wanamaker trophy.
“I have been out here a while now,” he said. “I’ve been in contention a lot, and I’ve got it done a lot of times. 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.
“All I can do is go out and play my game and shoot the best number I can. You know, just take what the golf course gives me and just keep on going. It doesn’t really matter what other guys are doing. All I can control is myself.”
History still in Brooks’ sights
One of the biggest threats to Johnson’s title prospects will undoubtedly come from Brooks Koepka.
The 31-year-old is looking to make history by becoming the first player in the strokeplay era of the championship to win the Wanamaker three years in succession.
He recovered from a mid-round wobble that saw him bogey three holes in a row from the 13th to birdie two of his last three and ride some real momentum into the final round. Afterwards, he wasted no time in starting the mind games with Johnson.
“I like my chances,” said Koepka. “When I’ve been in this position before, I’ve capitalised. He’s only won one. I’m playing good. I don’t know, we’ll see.”
Overnight leader Haotong Li, meanwhile, had a disappointing day, slipping to a three-over 73 to lie five-under and four shots off Johnson’s lead.
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