Dustin Johnson shot 60 on Friday, but he probably ended the competition at the 2020 Northern Trust by backing it up with 64 on Saturday to get to 22 under for the week. D.J. takes a five-stroke lead into Sunday as he tries to close out his 22nd career PGA Tour victory just six weeks after shooting consecutive rounds of 80-80-78.
If none of this makes sense, that’s OK, it’s not supposed to.
Johnson has been magnificent at TPC Boston all week, even when you step outside the 60. He’s gaining over four strokes per round from tee to green (an elite number) when only one other golfer (Scheffler) is even touching three. Incredibly, Johnson has made just one bogey in his last 38 holes and only three on the entire week going into Sunday. He looks absolutely automatic right now.
Of course, we know with D.J. that this is sometimes where it can go a little sideways. Though his record as a 54-hole leader at PGA Tour events has been strong, he just lost from that position two weeks ago at the PGA Championship (and is 0-for-4 in majors when leading after three rounds). He’s also the last golfer to lose a five-stroke 54-hole lead on the PGA Tour.
Not all 54-hole leads are created equal, though, and Johnson is up five on a group that — while all of them are solid golfers — won’t have him losing much sleep on Saturday night. So, he should roll to yet another win in the final round at TPC Boston; in doing so, he would tie Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods for the most victories in FedEx Cup Playoffs history with five. However, if he’s caught (a massive if!), here are the golfers who have a chance to run him down on Sunday.
Harris English (-17): The concerning part about English’s week thus far is that a lot of his strokes have been gained with the putter. This probably won’t hold up until the end of the event, but I’m going to go against the grain a bit on this one because I think English can ball-strike it with D.J. and won’t wilt under the Sunday pressure. Plus, it’s his driver that’s been a little shaky this week, which is a much better sign than bad iron play. I’m in on English getting win No. 3 on the PGA Tour on Sunday.
Scottie Scheffler (-17): Scheffler won’t be in the final pairing on Sunday as English passed him by with a great third round, but if you’re looking for a reason for Scheffler to win, it’s the tee-to-green game. He’s second in this field in strokes gained tee to green behind Johnson. Only five of the previous 11 players who shot 59 in an event (as Scheffler did on Friday) went on to win that event.
Louis Oosthuizen (-15): It’s incredible that Oosthuizen still has just one PGA Tour win (the 2010 Open Championship), but it’s true. He needs a good one on Sunday as he came into the week 99th in FedEx Cup standings and is well outside the top 70. If he finishes top five, he’ll easily be in the BMW Championship next weekend. This will be the tournament within the tournament on Sunday.
Daniel Berger (-14): He’s been absolutely on fire and is third on the PGA Tour this season in final-round scoring average. He won the Charles Schwab Challenge two and a half months ago by going out before the leaders on Sunday and posting a 66. He’s somebody who could scare 60 in the final round (and he might need to to grab a victory).
Harry Higgs (-14): While the vibe is absolutely aspirational, I don’t see Higgs pulling this off on Sunday. Still, he has a lot to play for as he’s right on that top-70 bubble to get into the BMW Championship next week. Needs to have a massive Sunday.
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