|-16 D Johnson (US); -12 S Im (Kor), A Ancer (Mex); -11 D Frittelli (SA); -10 J Thomas (US); -9 S Munoz (Col), P Reed (US), J Rahm (Spa)|
|Chosen others: -8 R McIlroy (NI), T Fleetwood (Eng), B Koepka (US); -6 P Casey (Eng); -5 T Woods (US), D Willett (Eng); -4 M Wallace (Eng); -3 J Rose (Eng), L Westwood (Eng); -2 I Poulter (Eng)|
|Venue: Augusta Nationwide Date: 12-15 November|
|Protection: Radio and textual content commentary on-line with in-play clips. Day by day highlights on BBC Two – full details here|
World primary Dustin Johnson will take a four-stroke lead into the ultimate spherical of the Masters after a dominant efficiency at Augusta on Saturday.
Johnson pulled away with a bogey-free seven-under 65, his second of the week, to steer on 16 below after spherical three.
The American, chasing a primary Inexperienced Jacket, equalled the Masters’ report lowest rating after 54 holes.
South Korea’s Sungjae Im, Abraham Ancer of Mexico and Australia’s Cameron Smith are closest to him at 12 below.
South Africa’s Dylan Frittelli, who was joint chief after spherical one, shot a five-under 67 and is 11 below, with world quantity three Justin Thomas an additional stroke behind.
Northern Eire’s Rory McIlroy pieced collectively a wonderful spherical of 67 to climb to eight below par.
Johnson chases information at benign Augusta
Cooler, wetter climate in November has seen Augusta Nationwide play longer, however a gentle few days and Thursday’s electrical storm have supplied good circumstances for scoring.
Johnson made the many of the delicate greens as soon as extra with an eagle and 5 birdies in spherical three that noticed him pull away from the sector.
The 36-year-old, who received the US Open in 2016, is enjoying a number of the best golf of his profession throughout a season that additionally noticed him miss two tournaments whereas self-isolating after contracting Covid-19.
He opened with rounds of 65 and 70 at Augusta and, after a quick nine-way tie for the lead initially of spherical three, accelerated clear with a tap-in eagle on the second gap to get to 11 below.
From there, Johnson was nearly faultless and made an up-and-down par at 18 to grow to be the primary participant in Masters historical past with a number of rounds of 65 or much less in the identical event.
Johnson equalled the report low rating of 16 below after three rounds set by Jordan Spieth when he received it in 2015 and is seeking to grow to be the primary world primary to win the Masters since Tiger Woods in 2002.
“I’ve been enjoying very well, I simply must get just a few putts to drop,” mentioned Johnson, who tied for second final yr.
“It was a extremely good day, I’ve been swinging effectively all week. Even after getting off to an excellent begin, I attempted to remain affected person and be aggressive after I might.
“There are such a lot of actually good gamers across the lead, I’m going to should exit and play effectively if I’m going to win. I’ve to exit and execute.”
Challengers battle to maintain tempo
South Korean sensation Im is certainly one of Johnson’s closest challengers after cancelling out his solely bogey of the day at 17 with a birdie end.
The 2019 PGA Tour rookie of the yr, says he performs so recurrently he prefers to dwell lodge to lodge between tournaments somewhat than discover a property within the US.
That persistence has paid off, and the 22-year-old put himself in competition on his Masters debut with a stellar spherical of 68 that included a elegant chip-in birdie at 11.
Mexico’s Ancer and Australian Smith, who completed joint fifth in 2018, have been amongst a five-way tie for the lead heading into spherical three and each carded three-under 69s.
Jon Rahm mounting a problem of his personal however the Spaniard’s hopes threatened to unravel after a weird double bogey on the par-five eighth.
The world quantity two dragged a low second shot into the foliage and cannoned his subsequent right into a bush off a tree trunk. He recovered a type of photographs to take a seat at 9 below.
American Thomas was two below for the day as he hit the flip however endured a vibrant again 9 as he traded three birdies with 4 bogeys to complete six off the tempo.
McIlroy left to rue gradual Augusta begin
McIlroy produced one other spectacular spherical on Saturday that can have the Northern Irishman ruing his gradual begin at Augusta after following up Friday’s 66 with a five-under-par 67.
It takes him to eight below in whole, however highlighted how expensive a gap 75 was in his bid to win the Masters and grow to be simply the sixth participant to win a profession Grand Slam.
McIlroy clawed a shot again on the second earlier than including a hat-trick of birdies via the flip and chipping in from a greenside bunker for an additional at Augusta’s iconic twelfth.
He instantly bogeyed the thirteenth with a sloppy three-putt from 9 ft, to fall again to seven below however pulled off a wise par-save at 15 having discovered the water together with his strategy.
The 31-year-old birdied the par-three sixteenth to maneuver again to eight below and depart himself eight off the lead heading into Sunday’s last spherical.
“I set a goal to attempt to get to double digits below par, did not fairly get there, however I performed a extremely good spherical of golf,” mentioned McIlroy.
“I have never actually made an excellent run on a Sunday right here, so it is about time. I really feel good, my recreation is there, I’ve proven that during the last two days.
“I will most likely want one thing just a few decrease than right this moment, set the clubhouse goal for the fellows to observe.”
McIlroy was enjoying alongside 63-year-old Bernhard Langer, who turned the oldest man to make the lower at Augusta and received the primary of his two Inexperienced Jackets 4 years earlier than the world quantity 5 was born.
The German confirmed he can nonetheless produce moments to savour, holing a mammoth 63-foot birdie putt on 15 and throwing his visor into the air in delight. He sits at two below.
Woods fades, as does English problem
Tiger Woods defied the chances with a fairytale victory at Augusta 19 months in the past however the 15-time main champion won’t be including a sixth Inexperienced Jacket to his assortment this yr.
Woods posted a 68 on Thursday however needed to return on Saturday morning to place the ending touches on a one-under 71, earlier than heading again out to publish a level-par 72 that retains him at 5 below for the event.
The 44-year-old, who has beforehand had again and knee surgical procedure, shifting just a little gingerly in the direction of the tip of his spherical and admitted the day felt like a “lengthy grind”.
“I can not win it from the place I’m however I could make birdies and sweep in for a top-10 end,” he added. “I simply must make birdies – I have never made any this week.
“As we speak was an extended day however I nonetheless had my possibilities.”
Tommy Fleetwood is best-placed of the English contingent at eight below par, with Paul Casey two strokes behind and 2016 champion Danny Willett at 5 below.
Two-time runner-up Justin Rose’s hopes pale as he carded a four-over 76 together with seven bogeys to peg him again to 3 below, alongside fellow Englishman Lee Westwood.