Sport24.co.za | Top-ranked Johnson grabs share of Canadian Open lead

Sport24.co.za | Top-ranked Johnson grabs share of Canadian Open lead
Sport24.co.za | Top-ranked Johnson grabs share of Canadian Open lead

Toronto - World number one Dustin Johnson, aiming to bounce back from British Open disappointment, fired a seven-under par 65 on Saturday to seize a share of the US PGA Tour Canadian Open.

Johnson, who missed the cut at Carnoustie, got off to a sizzling start at the Glen Abbey golf course Oakville, Ontario with birdies at five of the first six holes.

He cooled off with bogeys at the 10th and 13th before following birdies at 14 and 15 by ramming in a 23-foot putt for eagle at the par-five 16th.

The American was tied on 17-under par 199 with overnight leader Kevin Tway and South Koreans An Byeong-hun and Kim Whee.

"I was playing well," said Johnson, who is chasing a third title of the season and the 19th of his career. "I didn't drive it quite as well as I'd like to today. It was a little bit windy today, so it made it a little bit tougher to hit fairways.

"But I felt that when I was in the fairway I hit good shots and made a lot of birdies."

Kim held a one-shot lead after rolling in a 31-footer for eagle at the 16th, but he dropped a shot at 17 -- where he was unable to get up and down from a fairway bunker.

An had six birdies in his six-under 66 while Tway had six birdies in his four-under 68.

"I had a lot of up-and-downs today, like between holes seven to 12," said An, who birdied all three of the par-fives on the back nine. "It's been one of those nice up-and-down days, and then I grinded pretty well and I stayed patient. That's why I was able to finish with three birdies on the par-fives."

Johnson did much of his damage on the front nine. Although he missed the fairway at the first his approach left him eight feet for birdie and he was off.

After a poor tee shot at the par-five second meant he couldn't reach the green in two, he pitched uphill to set himself up for a four-foot birdie.

A textbook birdie at the third saw take a share of the lead and he followed with two more birdies at five and six.

Despite the difficulties with his driver, and the fact that he played the three par-fives on the back nine in just one-under, Johnson was encouraged after his shock early exit at Carnoustie.

"I felt like I was playing well going into the Open Championship and felt like I played well at the Open, I just scored really bad," said Johnson. "I felt like my mental game wasn't there. So I came here and practiced a little bit and got my focus back right and have played a little better this week."

Tway, hoping to follow in the footsteps of his father, 2003 Canadian Open champion Bob Tway, had fallen off the pace before birdies at 15, 16 and 18 pulled him into the leading group.

Leading third-round scores on Saturday in the USPGA Tour RBC Canadian Open at Glen Abbey Golf Course, Oakville, Ontario (USA unless stated, par 72)

199 - Dustin Johnson 68-66-65, An Byeong-hun (KOR) 66-67-66, Kim Whee (KOR) 67-65-67, Kevin Tway 66-65-68

203 - Hudson Swafford 66-70-67, Rory Sabbatini (RSA) 68-67-68

204 - Abraham Ancer (MEX) 73-66-65, Joel Dahmen 69-68-67, Chris Stroud 65-72-67, Danny Lee (NZL) 68-69-67, Robert Garrigus 63-72-69, Johnson Wagner 68-65-71

205 - Tyler Duncan 71-69-65, Charley Hoffman 68-71-66, Tony Finau 71-67-67, Mackenzie Hughes (CAN) 69-69-67, Shane Lowry (IRL) 70-67-68, Tommy Fleetwood (ENG) 66-71-68, Zac Blair 67-67-71, Keegan Bradley 69-63-73

206 - Jamie Lovemark 71-69-66, Ryan Yip (CAN) 68-72-66, Graeme McDowell (NIR) 67-72-67, Brandt Snedeker 68-70-68, Ricky Barnes 67-70-69, George Cunningham 67-70-69, Andrew Putnam 67-68-71, Joaquin Niemann (CHI) 67-67-72

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