Koepka leads by 4 as he hunts for No. 1 ranking
Brooks Koepka improved his chances of taking over as No. 1 in the world, shooting a bogeyfree 5-under 67 Saturday for a four-stroke lead after three rounds of the CJ Cup at Nine Bridges in South Korea.
Koepka had a threeround total of 13-under 203. Ian Poulter, who shot 68, was tied for second place with second-round leader Scott Piercy, who had a 72.
Koepka, 28, who trailed by one stroke after two rounds, will move to the top of the world rankings if he wins the tournament and former No. 1 Justin Thomas, the defending champion here, does not finish any better than second.
Thomas shot a 71 Saturday and is at 1 under, 12 strokes behind Koepka and tied for 43rd. It would be Koepka’s first appearance at No. 1.
Dustin Johnson is currently No. 1, Koepka is third and Thomas fourth. Johnson and No. 2 Justin Rose are not playing this week.
There were six golfers tied for fourth in South Korea, including Rafa Cabrera Bello, who shot 65 Saturday, and firstround leader Chez Reavie ( 70).
Shubhankar Sharma of India had the round of the day, a 64, to move to 3 under, 10 strokes behind Koepka.
Koepka, the three-time major champion who was recently voted the Player of the Year on the PGA Tour, started with eight straight pars.
His round included back-to-back birdies on the ninth and 10th holes, and then a key par save from a difficult lie in the greenside bunker on the 11th - the only hole where he looked in any kind of trouble.