Northern Trust 2020: Dustin Johnson Holds 5-Stroke Lead Entering Final Round

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistAugust 22, 2020

Dustin Johnson tees off on the ninth hole during the third round of the Northern Trust golf tournament at TPC Boston, Saturday, Aug. 22, 2020, in Norton, Mass. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
Charles Krupa/Associated Press

Dustin Johnson remains in the lead after three rounds at the 2020 Northern Trust Open.

Coming off an impressive 60 in the second round, Johnson put together another strong performance Saturday with a 64 to bring his overall score to 22 under par.

Harris English and Scottie Scheffler remain Johnson's closest competition with 18 holes remaining. Both players are tied for second place and five shots back at 17 under.

Here's the top of the leaderboard from TPC Boston after 54 holes, via PGATour.com:

1. Dustin Johnson (-22)

T2. Harris English (-17)

T2. Scottie Scheffler (-17)

4. Louis Oosthuizen (-15)

T5. Harry Higgs (-14)

T4. Daniel Berger (-14)

T4. Danny Lee (-14)

8. Bubba Watson (-13)


Since withdrawing from the 3M Open after the first round with a back injury, Johnson has returned to peak form lately. He finished tied for second at the PGA Championship two weeks ago and is one round away from getting his second victory of the season.

Johnson did the bulk of his damage on the front nine with four birdies. His 20-foot birdie on No. 8 put him three shots ahead of the field.


🐦 @DJohnsonPGA trying to run away with it. He rolls in his 4th birdie of the day to extend his lead to 3. #QuickHits https://t.co/aq2b826HX7

Rain did cause a delay to the round, but Johnson wasn't significantly impacted. He made it to 20 under with a birdie on No. 12 that was 12 inches away from being an eagle:


Raising the bar. @DJohnsonPGA gets to 20-under with a tap-in birdie on the 12th. #QuickHits https://t.co/epuOZI0YZA

Johnson gave a shot back with his first bogey in 31 holes on No. 13 when his tee shot landed in the rough. He followed that up by hitting his second shot into a bunker on the right side of the green.

After settling back into things with three consecutive pars, Johnson got back to 20 under with his final birdie of the day on No. 17. He capped off his round with an eagle putt from 40 feet out:


An eagle to finish it off. 🦅 @DJohnsonPGA takes a commanding 5-shot lead heading into Sunday @TheNTGolf. #QuickHits https://t.co/b9MOpJJd8a

Justin Ray @JustinRayGolf

Best 54-hole total score, #FedExCup history 2007 Tiger Woods, Tour Championship, 191 (W by 8) 2020 Dustin Johnson, N. Trust, 191 (Leads by 5)

There was one moment when English looked like he was going to end the day at least tied with Johnson for the lead thanks to this chip-in birdie from 41 feet out on No. 14:


How about that?! It's a tie at the top as @Harris_English chips in for birdie at the 14th. #QuickHits https://t.co/PmS4fyOXbS

English was unable to keep his momentum going down the stretch. He made back-to-back bogeys on 16 and 17 that moved him three shots behind Johnson. The 31-year-old had three bogeys total Saturday, his most in a single round so far at the Northern Trust.

Fresh off being the talk of the tournament Friday, Scheffler was able to come back with a quality third-round showing. His day got off on a difficult note with a bogey on the par-five second hole, but he still finished with six birdies in total.

Just 24 years old, Scheffler is chasing his first win on the PGA Tour. He had two victories on the Korn Ferry Tour in 2019 and finished fourth at the PGA Championship two weeks ago.

Things didn't go as well for Rory McIlroy or Tiger Woods in the third round. Both players began the day at three under but fell further down the leaderboard. McIlroy finished with a 74 that included two double bogeys in his first six holes.

Woods didn't have the same kind of struggles as McIlroy, but he finished the day with five bogeys that dropped his overall score to one under.

Heading into the final round, this is Johnson's tournament to lose. He's won the Northern Trust twice, most recently in 2017. The only event he's won more in his career is the WGC-Mexico Championship (three times).