Johnson leads in windy, rainy Genesis as he seeks No. 1 ranking
Dustin Johnson is closing in on that elusive victory at Riviera — and a shot to reach No. 1 in the world.
Johnson made two tough pars around the turn and poured it on late with three birdies over his last four holes for another 5-under-par 66 and a one-shot lead in the Genesis Open in Los Angeles. It was a good place to be Saturday afternoon, except he was only halfway home at rainy Riviera.
The tournament, delayed Thursday because of fog, Friday because of a horrific storm, and Saturday morning to clean up after Friday’s weather, was able to get a handful of golfers off for their third round before play was suspended at 5:43 p.m. Pacific time because of darkness.
Johnson was at 10-under 132 and had a one-shot lead over Pat Perez, who birdied his last two holes for a 66, and Cameron Tringale, whose wedge from 82 yards flew straight into the cup on No. 18 for a birdie and a 64.
Now, a victory might be enough to move Johnson to No. 1 in the world. Johnson would have to win the Genesis Open and have world No. 1 Jason Day finish out of the top three to go to the top of the rankings for the first time. Day had another 70 and was eight shots behind and tied for 40th.
“I don’t really worry about that,” Johnson said about being No. 1. “I want to put myself in position to win this golf tournament. That’s really all I care about is what it takes to get it done here. The rest of the stuff, the points and the world golf rankings, yeah, I would like to get there, but I’m not worried about it.”
Sam Saunders, who opened with a 7-under 64 and didn’t play Friday, stumbled to a 77. He was in danger of becoming the first player in four years to go from leading the first round to missing the cut until a long birdie on the 17th.
LPGA: American Lizette Salas shot a 2-under 71 to take a two-stroke lead over two Australians and a Thai golfer heading into the final round of the Women’s Australian Open at Royal Adelaide.
Salas, who had a 10-under total of 209, was 1 over after the front nine but rescued her round with back-to-back birdies on the 14th and 15th holes and another on the par-5 17th.
South Korean-born Australian Su Oh had the round of the day, a 68, and was tied for second with fellow Australian and 36-hole leader Sarah Jane Smith (74) and Pornanong Phatlum of Thailand (73).
Defending champion Haru Nomura of Japan had a second consecutive 69 and was four strokes behind.
CHAMPIONS TOUR: Miguel Angel Jimenez birdied two of the last four holes to take a onestroke lead over Fred Couples and Kevin Sutherland entering the final round of the Chubb Classic in Naples, Fla.
Jimenez birdied the par-4 15th and par-5 17th in a bogey-free 5-under 67 that got him to 12-under 132 in the event at the TwinEagles Club.
Couples shot a 65 on the Talon Course. He bogeyed the par-4 18th after making birdies on Nos. 14, 15 and 17. Sutherland had a 63 for the best round of the week.
Dustin Johnson put together back-to-back rounds of 66 for a 10under 132 and a one-shot lead over Pat Perez at the Genesis Open.