John­son leads in windy, rainy Ge­n­e­sis as he seeks No. 1 rank­ing

The Washington Post Sunday - - PROFESSIONAL BASKETBALL - GOLF ROUNDUP

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.

GARY A. VASQUEZ/USA TO­DAY

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.

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