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Dustin Johnson storms to Round 3 lead at Masters

Nov. 14 (UPI) — Dustin Johnson matched his tournament low with another 65 in Saturday’s third round to grab a four-shot lead entering the final day of the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia.

Johnson, the top-ranked player in the world, also shot a 7-under 65 in the first round, which began Thursday but extended into Friday morning due to a three-hour weather delay.

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The tournament is back on schedule after golfers completed the remainder of the second round early Saturday morning, followed by the third round before darkness set in.

Johnson sped away from a five-way share of the lead with an explosive start in the third round, recording an eagle and two birdies through his first four holes. He added another birdie on hole No. 7 and two more on the back nine to match the 54-hole Masters record.

“I feel like I’m swinging well and I’ve got a lot of confidence in what I’m doing. Everything is going well,” Johnson said. “There’s a lot of really good players right around me. I’m going to have to play aggressive when I can and play smart when I can’t.”

Sunday will mark the third time Johnson takes a lead into the final round of a major. His only victory in a major championship came in the 2016 U.S. Open.

Sungjae Im (68), Abraham Ancer (69) and Cameron Smith (69) sat behind Johnson at 12-under par. Dylan Frittelli, who also carded a 65 in the first round, shot a 67 Saturday and was alone in fifth at 11-under, after Justin Thomas ended his day with a bogey on No. 18 to fall to sixth at 10-under 206.

Sebastian Munoz (69), Patrick Reed (71) and Jon Rahm (72) were one stroke behind Thomas at 9-under for a share of seventh.

Rory McIlroy shot a 5-under 67 Saturday to climb into a tie for 10th with Brooks Koepka (69), Tommy Fleetwood (71) and Hideki Matsuyama (72) at 8-under entering Sunday’s fourth round.

Bryson DeChambeau, who was the betting favorite to win the event, survived the cut line and is at 3-under ahead of the final day.

Tiger Woods followed up his second-round 71 with an even-par 72 on day three to fall out of contention. The defending champion managed only two birdies and shot two bogeys to all but guarantee he will put the green jacket on someone else.

Woods, who began the third round just four shots off the lead, was among six players tied for 20th at 5-under par.

“I have not thought about [Sunday] yet,” Woods said. “I was focused on trying to get myself in contention going into [Sunday]. … We’ll see how emotional it’ll be after [Sunday’s] round.”

Starting times for the final round have been moved up so the tournament can conclude by 3 p.m. EST to accommodate the CBS schedule for NFL games.

The fourth round is to begin at 7:50 a.m., with that network scheduled to pick up the action at 10 a.m. EST. Earlier play will be on ESPN+, CBSSports.com and the CBS Sports app.

Moments from the 2020 Masters Tournament

Tiger Wood hits off the fairway on the second hole during the third round of the 2020 Masters Tournament in Augusta on Saturday. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo

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