Johnson’s eight birdies have been essentially the most by him in a single spherical at a significant and helped offset a bogey and double bogey on the entrance 9 as he carded a five-under 65 and was nine-under par 201 by means of 56 holes at TPC Harding Park.
Johnson is one away from Scottie Scheffler and Cameron Champ with Collin Morikawa, Paul Casey and two-time defending champion Brooks Koepka all lurking a shot additional adrift.
“I putted rather well. That was key,” mentioned Johnson, who leads the sphere in strokes gained with the brief stick this week.
The previous world primary and 2016 U.S. Open champion is seeking to avenge his loss on the 2010 PGA Championship, the place he was main coming into the ultimate gap however was hit with a controversial two-stroke penalty for grounding his membership in a bunker and completed tied for fifth.
Johnson mentioned touchdown the ball safely on the course’s slim fairways will likely be key to hoisting the Wanamaker Trophy on Sunday.
“Tomorrow I undoubtedly have to hit some extra fairways, as a result of it is actually robust taking part in this golf course from the tough,” mentioned Johnson, who hit seven of 14 fairways on Saturday.
eight birdies. #PGAChamp chief. @DJohnsonPGA 👏👏👏 https://t.co/0nZUwaZEiK
— PGA Championship (@PGAChampionship) 1596935749000
Johnson will likely be paired with Scheffler, who signed a busy scorecard that included eight birdies and three bogeys together with one on the troublesome par-four 18th, a gap that would show important on Sunday given the bunched leaderboard.
The 24-year-old Scheffler mentioned he was attempting to maintain his wits about him as he appears to be like to safe his first main title.
“There’s undoubtedly some nerves however simply received to try to deal with them as finest I can and exit and play, and I did job of that right now.”
Onerous-hitting Sacramento native Champ fired a 67 below foggy and chilly San Francisco skies, situations he mentioned he’s nicely used to taking part in in because the 25-year-old additionally appears to be like to seize his maiden main.
“Clearly there’s a comfortability,” he mentioned.
“I’ve performed a whole lot of golf down right here rising up in junior occasions, state ams. And this has related climate situations as Monterey, which I’ve performed quite a bit in, so I am undoubtedly used to that, type of chilly and damp.”
4-time main champion Koepka, who had an uncharacteristic three bogey stretch late however birdied the final in his spherical of 69, mentioned he would use his appreciable expertise on the game’s largest levels to his benefit even when there are not any followers in attendance because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I really feel very comfy across the lead within the large occasions,” he mentioned.
“Clearly we do not have followers right here, which makes it a little bit completely different after they’re hooting and hollering.
“It may be enjoyable in the event that they’re cheering for you, but when they’re towards you it isn’t a lot enjoyable. It should really feel utterly completely different than anyone we have ever performed. I am wanting ahead to it tomorrow.
“It needs to be a enjoyable shootout.”