Johnson closing in on FedEx Cup victory after extending Tour Championship lead

By Sports Desk September 06, 2020

Dustin Johnson moved a step closer to claiming the FedEx Cup title after extending his Tour Championship lead to five strokes.

World number one Johnson carded a six-under-par 64 in the third round to seize control at the FedEx Cup play-off finale on Sunday.

FedEx Cup leader and Northern Trust winner Johnson, who is yet to claim the PGA Tour's championship trophy, started his penultimate round with a one-shot lead.

By the end of the day, Johnson – a runner-up in two of his last three starts – surged clear thanks to seven birdies and just one bogey at East Lake.

After a flawless front nine featuring three birdies, American star Johnson gained a further four strokes following the turn, including the last to be 19 under through 54 holes, while bogeying the 11th.

Johnson's nearest rivals are last year's Tour Championship runner-up and 2017 winner Xander Schauffele, and 2017 FedEx Cup champion Justin Thomas.

Schauffele posted a third-round 67, while fellow American Thomas had an eagle, five birdies and three bogeys for a four-under-par 66.

World number two and BMW Championship winner Jon Rahm – second to Johnson in the FedEx Cup race – is outright fourth after shooting a 66 to be 13 under, while Collin Morikawa is a stroke further back.

Daniel Berger (64) and Im Sung-jae (72) are tied for sixth, ahead of Scottie Scheffler (66).

Reigning FedEx Cup champion and Tour Championship holder Rory McIlroy is 11 shots off the pace heading into the final round.

McIlroy, who recently became a father, lost further ground following his second consecutive round in the 70s – an even-par 70, which included three bogeys and as many birdies.

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  • After 477 failed attempts, Bland finally wins on European Tour with British Masters triumph After 477 failed attempts, Bland finally wins on European Tour with British Masters triumph

    Richard Bland finally won a European Tour title at the 478th attempt as the 48-year-old saw decades of persistence pay off at the British Masters.

    The Englishman first appeared on the circuit in 1998 and had three runner-up finishes and a pair of third places to his name across his career before this week, but the first win had proven elusive.

    However, he put that right on Saturday at The Belfry, a closing 66 taking him to 13 under par before Bland held his nerve in a play-off to deny Italian Guido Migliozzi.

    Bland made birdie at the 18th with a putt from almost 30 feet for a six-under 66 to set the clubhouse target, but Migliozzi joined him on that mark by picking up shots at the 15th and 16th holes.

    It would have been a nervy wait for Bland as Migliozzi targeted the birdie in the closing two holes that would have brought him the title, but the 24-year-old could not make it happen as he settled for a 68, triggering the play-off.

    When Migliozzi missed from around 10 feet for par at the first extra hole - the 18th - Bland had the chance to slot the winning putt from close range, and he made no mistake.

    "I've done it," said an emotional Bland on Sky Sports. "My game had been trending in the right way and I'd worked really hard, as you know we've worked so hard on the wedges."

    Interviewed by his coach Tim Barter, Bland, who collects €339,278 for his win, said: "I just drove the ball so well this week. I've gone back to my old driver. Round here - especially for me, I'm not the longest on tour - so I've got to hit fairways and I've probably missed single-digit fairways all week.

    "If I have missed one it's been by a couple of inches. I came off a pretty decent week last week and a top 10 [last month] in Gran Canaria so I knew my game was in decent shape."

    Finland's Mikko Korhonen shared third place on 12 under with England's Dave Coupland and Polish player Adrian Meronk, with another Englishman in Andy Sullivan tied for sixth with South African Dean Burmester.

    Tournament host Danny Willett finished at nine under, the same mark as fellow Englishman Eddie Pepperell who was the overnight leader but struggled on the final day, a one-over 73 seeing him slide down the leaderboard to a share of 11th place.

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