The Morning Call (Sunday)

Johnson grabs hold of top spot

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Even without spectators in November, the Masters promised to deliver more drama with 10 players separated by a single shot going into a weekend filled with possibilit­ies.

And then Dustin Johnson, above, turned it into a one-man show. The No. 1 player in the world looked every bit the part Saturday, racing away from a five-way share of the lead with an explosive start — 4 under through four holes — and never letting his foot off the gas until he had a 7-under 65 and matched the 54-hole Masters record.

More importantl­y, Johnson had a four-shot lead.

Sunday will be the third time Johnson takes a lead into the final round of a major, along with two other majors where he was tied for the lead. His only major was the 2016 U.S. Open when he came from behind. Most recently, he had a one-shot lead at Harding Park in the PGA Championsh­ip this summer, closed with a 68 and lost to a 64 by Collin Morikawa.

Johnson used his putter from above a slope to the right of the 18th green to 5 feet and holed that for a par to cap off another bogey-free round and reach 16-under 200. That ties the record set by Jordan Spieth in 2015.

Not all the players chasing Johnson are as familiar. Two of them are Masters rookies.

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CURTIS COMPTON/AP

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