Johnson in command again in Saudi Arabia

Dustin Johnson continued his love affair with Royal Greens Golf and Country Club as he opened up a two shot lead heading into the final round of the 2021 Saudi International powered by SoftBank Investment Advisers.

The World Number One won the inaugural staging of this event in 2019 before finishing second 12 months ago, and a birdie-birdie finish saw him sign for a third round 66 and move to 13 under after 54 holes in 2021.

“It was a good finish,” said Johnson. “I felt like I played really well all day, other than 13, but I didn’t think I hit that bad a shot. I pushed it a hair right of the flag but just came up well short of where I thought it would and ended up making six there.

“Other than that, I drove it well and hit a lot of really good iron shots in there to give myself a lot of good chances at birdie. Didn’t hole a whole lot of putts but finishing nicely definitely helped the day out.

“It’s always good to win no matter when it is…it’s a really good field. I’d definitely be very pleased. It’s a pretty big golf tournament and it will definitely give me a lot of confidence for the rest of the year.”

Frenchman Victor Perez led a strong chasing pack, with Race to Dubai Rankings presented by Rolex leader Tyrrell Hatton, his fellow Englishman Andy Sullivan, American Tony Finau and Dane Søren Kjeldsen at ten under.

“I think that’s as good as it gets,” said Perez. “I’ll be very excited for the challenge. I think this is all you strive for.

“I think obviously I will need to make some putts tomorrow. Somebody is going to have to put in a low one to win and if it’s going to be windy, it’s going to be a grind coming down the stretch for sure.”

Major Champions Sergio Garcia and Martin Kaymer were then four shots off the lead alongside 36 hole leader Ryan Fox, South African George Coetzee, Scot Calum Hill, England’s David Horsey and Norwegian Viktor Hovland.

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