Wednesday, 22 November, 2017

Johnson Takes 1-Shot Lead at Tour Championship

Howard Terry | 26 September, 2016, 00:55

Johnson had 165 yards from the sand and anxious about getting it over the lip of the bunker. But he answered with a 4-iron over the water to a peninsula green on the par-3 15th to 15 feet for birdie.

"It was a very nice shot to start the day", Johnson said with a smile.

Johnson and Chappell separated themselves from the pack, with third-placed Kevin Kisner and Japan's Hideki Matsuyama four strokes from the lead at three-under 137.

The Australian is tied-14th in the $US8.5 million tournament that closes out the season and determines the victor of the season-long Fedex Cup points race, with its $10 million to the victor. The top five were all among the dozen players who broke par in the opening round.

Top-ranked Jason Day has withdrawn from the tournament with back pain, handing the points-based player of the year honors to Johnson.

"Obviously I'm not playing my best when I do stuff like that".

Jordan Spieth didn't look like he would post anything near a 68 after he was three over through two holes.

Scott picked up another stroke at the par-5 6th, before he recorded double-bogey at the 7th when he three-putted from just five feet.

"There's nothing about it that looks that intimidating or that insane, but fairways are just narrow enough, just firm enough, to cause trouble", Moore said.

Day is due to return to the Australian summer of golf in November for the first time since 2013 but this latest setback could throw a cloud over his participation in the Australian Open and World Cup of Golf. I have no doubt.

"Man, that front nine is really easy, I guess", Chappell joked.

"That birdie on eight was needed, I was getting a little frustrated", McIlroy told Sky Sports.

Dustin Johnson trebled his one-shot overnight lead at the Tour Championship but failed to hold on as a slow finish saw his advantage slashed by Kevin Chappell.

After lagging behind teammates Cameron Davis and Harrison Endycott in the event that counts the two best scores from the three-man teams, Luck had nine birdies in a bogey-free round at Iberostar Playa Paraiso. Neither seemed like a problem until he played the wrong shot, clipped the tree and wound up with double bogey Saturday in the Tour Championship. Mickelson was one under from there to salvage a 74.

In tournaments that have extended through 72 holes, he has converted 54-hole outright or shared leads three out of seven times at the 2016 BMW Championship, 2013 WGC-HSBC Champions and 2010 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.

Johnson, meanwhile, keeps rolling along. The 42-year-old Ridings was 52nd on the Web.com money list and entered the third of four series events 36th in the race for 25 PGA Tour cards with $9,493. While everyone has a mathematical chance of winning the FedEx Cup, that depends on how the top five fare.

"I knew DJ (Johnson) was a few shots ahead of me and if there's anyone I'm looking at this week, he's the guy", said the former world number one.

"I came here this week to win a golf tournament, and I'm 100 percent focused on that", Moore said, adding that the Ryder Cup is "completely out of my control". Just as it was wrapping up Saturday afternoon, hustling so it could clear network air space in favor of the spectacle that is Notre Dame-Duke football, this Tour Championship got real.

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