Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy struggle as Dustin Johnson pulls away far ahead

V Krishnaswamy Aug 23 | Updated on August 23, 2020

A file photo of Dustin Johnson   -  AP

Dustin Johnson put on another masterclass, though a 11-under 60 from the previous would have been hard to match as he added a seven-under 64 in the third round of the Northern Trust in the FedExCup Play-offs in Norton, Massachusetts.

Johnson is now five shots clear of the field at 22-under 191 and he pulled away in style with a birdie-eagle ending. A similar finish a day earlier would have given him a 57. In the third round he sank a 20-foot birdie on 17th and 40-foot eagle on 18th.

At 22-under 191, Johnson got to his lowest 54-hole score, and trailing him at 17-under are Harris English and Scottie Scheffler.

While low scoring was once again the norm, Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy did not do so. Woods birdied the last hole for a 73 and McIlroy made two triple bogeys in his round of 74. They get to play together again Sunday morning. Both have struggled on the greens and that showed on the scorecard.

For Woods his iron game was not there. He hit 12 of the 14 fairways but only managed to find 11 greens in regulation.

McIlroy had a start that read birdie, triple-bogey and birdie and despite the birdies, the big numbers are hitting him hard. Two triples in six holes did not help.

Woods birdied the par-4 ninth to make the turn in level-par 36, but bogeyed Nos. 11, 12 and 14 before negotiating a deft two-putt birdie from 60 feet.

Despite a five-shot lead Johnson, who has never won the FedExCup trophy, does not want to slow down, saying, “I'm still going to have to go out and shoot a good score. You can go low out here and guys are going low every day, especially with the conditions we have -- perfect greens, golf course is in great shape and not a lot of wind."

English had three birdies in a four-hole stretch early on the back nine and was tied for the lead when Johnson made his lone bogey of the round on the 13th hole. English, however, followed with consecutive bogeys on the par-3 16th, and three-putted from 70 feet on the 17th. He shot 66.

Scheffler closed with a birdie to follow his second-round 59 with a 67.

Published on August 23, 2020

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