Johnson moves two shots clear

American Dustin Johnson will take a two-shot lead into the final round of the WGC-Cadillac Championship at Doral.

American Dustin Johnson will take a two-shot lead into the final round of the WGC-Cadillac Championship at Doral.

Johnson leads over a trio of challengers, which includes Britain’s Luke Donald, after shooting a seven-under-par 65 on the Blue Monster course at Doral. It was the day’s best score, and it leaves him on 13 under par overall, two shots clear of Donald and fellow Americans Matt Kuchar and Nick Watney.

While many golfers came unstuck on the closing holes on Saturday, including Donald and Watney – the former went wide into the rough off the tee for a bogey, while the latter found the water for a double-bogey – Johnson ended his round in style with birdies on 16 and 17, and a solid par on the last.

“It’s going to take another good round. I played well today, drove it well, putt it well and I am going to have to do that again,” he said.

Johnson will know the job is far from over, with as many as 12 players within five shots of the overall lead. The chasing pack includes Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy, Italian Francesco Molinari, Australian Adam Scott, Ireland’s Padraig Harrington, Scotsman Martin Laird, Dane Anders Hansen and Fijian Vijay Singh.

But the player who Johnson will likely be most worried about is Englishman Donald, who shot a six-under-par 66 as he searches for his second World Golf Championship win of the season, following his triumph in the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship in Arizona last month. Should he do it, he will join Tiger Woods in becoming the only players to win back-to-back WGC events.

After the round, Donald praised his current form.

“My swing is technically sounder and I am feeling more and more comfortable on certain shots which I didn’t last year and obviously the results are showing that,” he said.

“If I keep playing like I did today I’m going to have a chance.”

Tiger Woods, meanwhile, shot a two-under-par 70 to lie 11 shots off Johnson’s lead. His only consolation will be that it is still two shots better than Phil Mickelson, who looks set to once again fail to surpass his old rival in the world rankings.

Mickelson needs to finish better than Woods to elevate himself above the former world number one for the first time in 13 years. Ranked sixth, finishing above Woods will see him move into the top five.

World number one Martin Kaymer also had a bad day at the office. A 74 saw him fall well off the pace.