BMW Championship 2020: Dustin Johnson, Hideki Matsuyama Share Lead After Round 3

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistAugust 29, 2020

Hideki Matsuyama, of Japan, looks over the line before a birdie putt on the 16th green during the third round of the BMW Championship golf tournament Saturday, Aug. 29, 2020, at Olympia Fields Country Club in Olympia Fields, Ill. Matsuyama and Dustin Johnson are tied for the lead. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
Charles Rex Arbogast/Associated Press

The leaderboard shuffling at the 2020 BMW Championship continued yet again Saturday with Hideki Matsuyama and Dustin Johnson tied for the top spot. 

Entering the third round tied for third, Matsuyama and Johnson moved up two spots with matching scores of 69. Their 54-hole score of one-under par is two shots clear of Joaquin Niemann, Mackenzie Hughes and Adam Scott. 

Here's the top of the leaderboard with 18 holes remaining from Olympia Fields, Illinois, via PGATour.com:

T1. Dustin Johnson (-1)

T1. Hideki Matsuyama (-1)

T3. Joaquin Niemann (+1)

T3. Mackenzie Hughes (+1)

T3. Adam Scott (+1)

T6. Jon Rahm (+2)

T6. Sebastian Munoz (+2)

T6. Kevin Kisner (+2)

T6. Bubba Watson (+2)

T6. Brendon Todd (+2)

T6. Rory McIlroy (+2)

Matsuyama rebounded from a disappointing 73 in the second round to put himself in position to potentially win his first PGA Tour event since 2017. He wasted no time Saturday turning things around with an eagle on the first hole. 


Hideki Matsuyama wasted no time getting started in Round 3. 🦅 Just like that he leads by 1 @BMWChamps. #QuickHits https://t.co/oYmNguwjmA

A birdie on the third hole got Matsuyama to three-under par overall, but he did give those shots back with three bogeys in a span of five holes from No. 6-10. 

Even though Matsuyama finds himself in an opportune position to win, Justin Ray of 15th Club did point out this hasn't been a harbinger of great success for the 28-year-old in the past:

Justin Ray @JustinRayGolf

Hideki Matsuyama is 1-for-3 converting 54-hole leads into wins on the PGA Tour. It's his first 54-hole lead since the 2016 WGC-HSBC Champions (won).

Johnson is continuing to ride a wave of momentum that started back at the PGA Championship. He finished second at that event and followed it up with a victory last week at the Northern Trust. 

PGA TOUR Communications @PGATOURComms

Dustin Johnson has held the 54-hole lead or co-lead in each of his last three starts on TOUR PGA Championship (Finished T2) THE NORTHERN TRUST (Won) BMW Championship (TBD)

Unlike Matsuyama, Johnson had to dig himself out of an early hole with a bogey on No. 1. He did finish with three birdies on the day, with his last one coming on the 15th hole to put him in a tie for the top spot. 

Rory McIlroy came into the third round tied with Patrick Cantlay for the lead. The 31-year-old didn't maintain that position after shooting a 73 on Saturday, but he's still in contention at just three shots behind the co-leaders. 


First birdie of the day for @McIlroyRory. He's just one shot back of the lead. #QuickHits https://t.co/nLggVvEoK3

McIlroy finished the day with five bogeys and two birdies. His main issue in the third round came on the green, as he cost himself 1.68 shots putting. If that number can get closer to average on Sunday, he could walk away with his first career win at this event. 

Jon Rahm and Kevin Streelman tied for the best score of the third round (66). Rahm put himself in contention heading into Sunday at two-over par overall, three shots behind Matsuyama and Johnson. 

Streelman had the biggest single-day turnaround of the tournament. He improved 14 shots after carding an 80 in the second round, but still sits well off the pace at 12-over par overall. 

Tiger Woods put together his best round of the weekend with a 72. The 44-year-old is 10-over par for the tournament and will likely fall short of moving into the top 30 of the FedEx Cup standings to reach the Tour Championship next week.

Matsuyama has led or tied for the lead after the first and third round this weekend. Johnson is playing the best golf of anyone on the PGA Tour. 

The stage is set for an epic duel between the two in the final round, with plenty of competition on the horizon if they are unable to close out strong.