St. Jude Classic 2018: Dustin Johnson goes for win No. 18 after plain Round 3

Dustin Johnson and Andrew Putnam are tied during 15 underneath after a third turn of a 2018 FedEx St. Jude Classic on Saturday. Johnson shot a 5-under 65 while Putnam filled it adult with a 6-under 64. Those dual are 5 transparent of Stewart Cink, who sits alone in third (more on him in a minute).

Putnam is a good story and has done his final 7 cuts in a row. Sunday is a large day for him for a series of reasons. A win would meant he wouldn’t have to play a Tour for a prolonged time after toiling there (and on other tours) on an off for a final decade. Even a runner-up finish would meant a ton of money, FedEx Cup points and universe ranking points, all critical to somebody personification only a 44th eventuality of his career (19 of that have come this year).

But a concentration will be on D.J. There will be a lot during interest for him, too, despite many opposite stakes when he tees it adult on Sunday in a final turn during TPC Southwind. Johnson will be going for a 18th win of his career, one closer that sorcery series of 20, that means PGA Tour grant for life. It would also meant Johnson would retrieve a No. 1 mark in a Official World Golf Rankings from Justin Thomas streamer into a U.S. Open during Shinnecock subsequent week.

Johnson non-stop Saturday with a ho-hum on a front nine, going out in 34. Then he galloped a bit on a behind side, yet he non-stop with birdies in 4 of his initial 7 holes. A par-par tighten means he’ll tee it adult in a final pairing on Sunday for a possibility during his second win during this contest (he also won in 2012). It competence get buried a bit by a fact that a U.S. Open is subsequent week, yet to me that would prominence a importance. 

D.J., for all his celebrity and fortune, is still substantially underrated. He hasn’t won given Jan (as if that were a prolonged time) even yet he’s No. 1 on a PGA Tour in a series of applicable categories.

A win here would put him precisely behind in a spotlight going to Shinnecock (which is indeed not where we wish him given that I’m deliberation creation him my pick) and would lapse a thought that, even with a dozen Hall of Fame golfers in or around their rise powers, Johnson’s giddy-up competence be a biggest giddy-up. Sunday won’t tell us many about D.J. — he prolonged ago cemented his ability to win tournaments — yet it competence be a sign that he’s substantially a best and many unchanging actor in a diversion right now.

Three other takeaways from Saturday’s third round.

1. Phil Mickelson scuffling a bit: There is good news for Mickelson, yet let’s get to a bad news first. Lefty is trending in a wrong instruction after a 66-70-73 start during what he says is one of a many underrated courses on a PGA Tour. Mickelson was 4 over by his initial 11 holes on Saturday before righting a boat a bit entrance home. 

Still, it was not his best bid during a place where he’s scored top-five finishes in 3 of a final 5 years. Now for a good news. He doesn’t have a abuse to worry about violation subsequent week (well, he has one yet he doesn’t have some-more than that).

2. Stewart Cink? Stewart Cink! Cink’s best finish given Jan is a T31 during a Valspar Championship in March, so pardon my disbelief over his third place mark after 3 rounds during TPC Southwind. Cink is in position to legitimately contend for what would be his initial feat on a PGA Tour given a 2009 Open Championship, and he used a best shot of a day on Saturday to get there.

3. Amateur Rocking: Braden Thornberry recently announced that he was going to lapse for his comparison year during Ole Miss. Lucky for Ole Miss. Thornberry contended during a St. Jude Classic in 2017 when he finished T4, and he’s doing so again this year. Thornberry shot a 65 on Saturday to get into a tip 15 and set himself adult for a backdoor tip 10. 

I always adore it when ams contend during pointless PGA Tour events (see: Jon Rahm during a 2015 Phoenix Open), and even yet it would take something unusual for Thornberry to win on Sunday, his story will still be a fun one to follow.

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