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World number one looking ominously good at Saudi International
Photography: Getty Images
World Number One Dustin Johnson finished with back-to-back birdies to take a two shot lead into the final round of the Saudi International powered by SoftBank Investment Advisers as he attempts to win the title for the second time in three years. Johnson pulled clear of the star-studded field with four birdies in his opening ten holes, but his momentum was briefly halted by a double-bogey six on the 13th. He restored his two stroke advantage by birdieing the two closing holes for a third round of 66. “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 6 there," said Johnson. “But other 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."
At thirteen-under par total, the American is in pole position to add to his impressive record at Royal Greens Golf & Country Club, having claimed the inaugural title in 2019 and then finished runner up to Graeme McDowell 12 months ago.
His nearest challenger is France’s Ryder Cup hopeful Victor Perez who carded a round of 66 to move to eleven-under-par, while English pair Tyrrell Hatton (66) and Andy Sullivan (68), Denmark’s Søren Kjeldsen (65) and American Tony Finau (67) are all three shots back on ten under.
Spain’s Sergio Garcia posted the lowest round of the day, a six-under-par 64, and is one of seven players in a share of seventh position on nine under par, along with Norway’s Viktor Hovland (67) and former World Number One Martin Kaymer (66).