Dustin Johnson in three-way lead at USPGA Champions


Tue, Jan 07, 2014 - Page 19

Defending champion Dustin Johnson seized a share of the lead after shooting a four-under 69 in the third round of the USPGA Tour’s Tournament of Champions on Sunday.

Web Simpson and Jordan Spieth, who is the reigning USPGA Tour rookie of the year, joined Johnson atop the leaderboard after shooting a 68 and 69 respectively.

The trio are all at 14-under 205 at the Plantation Course at Kapalua Resort in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Zach Johnson struggled and shot a 74 as the second-round leader dropped into fourth place at 12-under. Jason Dufner (69) and Brandt Snedeker (69) grabbed a share of fifth alongside Kevin Streelman (70) and Gary Woodland (67) at 11-under.

Dustin Johnson opened his round with five pars, a birdie and a pair of bogeys.

He sent his second shot at the ninth hole from 211 yards within inches of the cup and tapped in for eagle.

“I hit a great drive down there, right to the end of the fairway. I had a good number and I just hit a great four-iron right at the flag and it ended up pretty close,” Dustin Johnson said of his eagle.

He made birdie on the 10th and after three straight pars, rolled in an eight-footer for birdie at the 14th to move into a four-way tie at the top.

Dustin Johnson parred the 15th, kept pace with a birdie at the next, then closed with a pair of pars to retain a share of the lead entering the fourth round that was to be played yesterday.

Simpson, who won the 2012 US Open, countered his lone bogey of the third round with six birdies, including four in a five-hole span from the 12th, which allowed him to reach 14-under.

He parred the final two holes.

“I feel like I’m getting a little more comfortable with what I’m working on each day,” Simpson said.

“The ball stayed in front of me. I was able to capitalize on those holes where you need to make birdie and I like this back side. I finally got it going a little bit,” he added.

The 20-year-old Spieth had just one bogey in his round.

However, he rolled in birdies at Nos. 5, 8, 9, 14 and 17 to secure a spot alongside Simpson in yesterday’s final pairing.