KAPALUA, Hawaii — Dustin Johnson has a prolonged diversion and a brief memory.
Johnson holed a 65-yard crowd shot down a mountain and adult a immature for an eagle, and he powered his approach to birdies on a standard 5s during Kapalua for a 7-under 66 to build a two-shot lead over Brian Harman going into a final turn during a Sentry Tournament of Champions.
The world’s No. 1 actor with a lead is a daunting awaiting anywhere, generally on a march where he is a past champion (2013) and has posted 20 out of his 30 rounds on a Plantation Course in a 60s.
Hope for a players chasing him comes from Johnson’s many new start on a PGA Tour.
That was only over dual months ago during a World Golf Championship-HSBC Champions in Shanghai, where Johnson mislaid a six-shot lead during Sheshan International. Most rare about that day is Johnson still was adult by 3 shots, didn’t skip a fairway on a behind 9 and still got beat.
Johnson says he didn’t even remember Shanghai until it was mentioned to him.
“Look, it was a prolonged time ago,” he said. “It’s a totally opposite golf course. It was what? Two months ago or something? So yeah, I’m going to try not to consider about it tomorrow. Hopefully, we won’t. But we only need to go out and play my diversion and only see what happens.”
The World No. 1 is 18 holes divided from commencement 2018 in a large way.
Johnson seized control fast Saturday during Kapalua.
Coming off his sole spook — a bad chip after his tee shot went only over a behind of a 11th immature — he had 65 yards from feathery rough, true down a mountain toward a Pacific to a immature that was ascending though with a pellet and a wind.
Johnson wasn’t certain how distant it was, and that wasn’t unequivocally significant.
“I was looking only left of a flag, though brief of a green,” he said. “I knew once it got on a immature that it was going to be flattering good. And obviously, it went in. So that was unequivocally a good bonus.”
The rest of his turn was energy golf. He gathering pin-high on a reachable par-4 14th adult a mountain and into a breeze to set adult a elementary chip-and-putt birdie. He had a brief iron into a immature on a par-4 15th to set adult a two-putt birdie. He saved standard with a 10-foot putt on a 17th and dual putts for birdie on a 18th capped off his day.
Johnson was during 16-under 203.
Harman couldn’t keep pace, dropping dual shots early on a behind 9 until a late convene for a 69 to stay within dual shots. Harman began a day tied with Marc Leishman, who didn’t make a birdie until a 16th hole and wound adult with a 76 to tumble 9 shots behind.
Jon Rahm done adult a lot of belligerent fast with a birdie-eagle-birdie detonate on a scoring holes in a center of a behind nine. A final birdie gave a bomb Spaniard a 66 and left him within operation during 4 shots behind.
Johnson and Rahm have a small history. Rahm scarcely chased him down in Mexico City final year in a WGC-Mexico Championship, and afterwards 3 weeks after pushed him to a 18th hole in a final of WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, that incited out to be Johnson’s third true victory.
Rahm loves being in a brew with Johnson, even if a outcome hasn’t left in his favor.
“Hopefully, we can play good down a widen like I’ve been doing, only start a small improved on a front nine,” Rahm said.
He did many of his repairs on a three-hole widen on a behind 9 where birdies are available. He only missed a reachable 14th and chipped to a feet for birdie, afterwards strike his second shot on a par-5 15th to 8 feet for eagle, and holed a wily 10-foot putt on a 16th.
Rahm will play in a penultimate organisation with Rickie Fowler, who shot a 68 to strech 11-under 208. Jason Dufner shot 69 and assimilated Fowler 5 shots behind.
Defending champion Justin Thomas spent some-more time with his father than he planned. Jimmy Johnson, his unchanging caddie, had a poignant reversal with his feet and will have to be in a protecting foot for a subsequent month. Thomas put his father to work. He had a span of double bogeys over a final 4 holes, sandwiched between birdies, shot 75 and was 18 shots behind.
Jordan Spieth played with Rahm and never got most going in his turn of 70, withdrawal him too distant back.
Harman competent for a Sentry Tournament of Champions by creation a 30-foot birdie putt on a final hole to win a Wells Fargo Championship and equivocate a playoff with Johnson and Pat Perez.
“I can’t control what Dustin does. He’s a fanciful player,” Harman said. “He’s going to be unequivocally tough to kick tomorrow, though perplexing to do something I’m not able of is not a approach to do it.”
Johnson will be going for his 17th feat on a PGA Tour dating to his rookie deteriorate 10 years. Johnson has unsuccessful to win only one year during his career, in 2014.