Sign in to comment!

Menu
Home

Golf

Dustin Johnson closes in on Hawaii repeat

Maui, HI (SportsNetwork.com) - Defending champion Dustin Johnson fired a 4- under-par 69 on Sunday to grab a share of the lead entering the final round of the Hyundai Tournament of Champions.

Webb Simpson shot 68 and reigning PGA Tour Rookie of the Year Jordan Spieth carded a 69, as the pair joined Johnson atop the leaderboard at 14-under 205 through 54 holes on the Plantation Course at Kapalua Resort.

Overnight leader Zach Johnson stumbled to a 74 and dropped into fourth place at 12-under, while Jason Dufner (69) and Brandt Snedeker (69) grabbed a share of fifth alongside Kevin Streelman (70) and Gary Woodland (67) at minus-11.

Dustin Johnson began Sunday's round three strokes off the lead and he trailed by five entering the par-5 ninth after opening with five pars, a birdie and a pair of bogeys.

At the ninth, Johnson sent his second shot from 211 yards within inches of the cup and tapped in for eagle. The big-hitter birdied the 10th, then, after three straight pars, rolled in an 8-footer for birdie at the 14th to move into a four-way tie at the top.

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 Monday's deciding round.

"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 4-iron right at the flag and it ended up pretty close," Johnson of his eagle at the ninth.

Simpson countered his lone bogey of the third round with six birdies, including four in a five-hole span from the 12th, which allowed the 2012 U.S. Open winner to reach 14-under. He parred the 17th and 18th to end there.

"I feel like I'm getting a little more comfortable with what I'm working on each day," Simpson said in a televised interview. "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."

Spieth too had just one bogey during the third round. The 20-year-old notched birdies at Nos. 5, 8, 9, 14 and 17 to secure a spot alongside Simpson in Monday's final pairing.

NOTES: Johnson is seeking his ninth PGA Tour win, Simpson is seeking his fifth and Spieth is seeking his second. In 2013, Spieth became the first teenager to win a PGA Tour event since 1931 when he titled at the John Deere Classic ... Thirteen players are making their debut at this event, including Spieth.