Having tied for second place at last year’s tournament, Dustin Johnson is a heavy favourite to go one better this time around – after he produced a magnificent display on the third day of The Masters at Augusta.
The 36-year-old American shot a seven-under-par 65 on Saturday, which saw him improve to 16-under for the tournament. This leaves Johnson four strokes in front of the field heading into the final round of the tournament.
Johnson entered the third round in a tie for the lead. However, a sublime eagle at the second saw Johnson pull away from his rivals – and he never looked back. The world number one carded birdies at each of the third, fourth and seventh holes to take firm control of proceedings.
The round marked Johnson’s second round of 65 in the tournament, helping him equal the record low score after three rounds in Masters history. Jordan Spieth managed the same feat in 2015 on his way to winning the title.
Ahead of Sunday’s play, Johnson finds himself comfortably in front of the trio of Sungjae Im, Abraham Ancer and Cameron Smith, who each sit on 12-under.
South Korea’s Im produced a strong third round of 68, whilst Mexican Ancer and Australian Smith both managed three-under rounds of 69. None, though, could match the imperious form of Johnson.
Britain’s Rory McIlroy entered a strong showing in his third round as well, shooting a five-under 67. Unfortunately, his poor opening round of 75 looks likely to have ended his title challenge – as he is still eight shots off the lead entering the final day.
Day three also effectively saw the end of Tiger Woods’ bid for glory. The 2019 winner was forced to finish his second round on Saturday morning, in which he limped to a one-under 71. Woods fared even worse in his third round effort later in the day, as he could only manage a par score of 72. He is currently five-under for the tournament – a massive 11 shots off the lead.
A double-bogey at the eighth extinguished the hopes of a surging Jon Rahm. The world number two had been hopeful of mounting a challenge, but finds himself nine-under heading into Sunday’s closing round.
The 2020 Masters appears to be Dustin Johnson’s to lose from here. Bidding to win his first green jacket, it would be a major surprise if he was to allow one of the chasing pack to deny him in the final stages of the tournament.