Johnson breaks clear for three-shot lead at BMW Championship

Sat Sep 10, 2016 9:17pm EDT
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(Reuters) - U.S. Open champion Dustin Johnson birdied four of the final five holes to open up a three-shot lead over Paul Casey after the third round at the BMW Championship in Indiana on Saturday.

Johnson delighted fans with another display of long hitting but also displayed a deft touch on slow greens at Crooked Stick in Carmel.

He carded a 68 to post an 18-under-par 198 total, while Englishman Casey also shot 68 to lurk in second place at 15-under, with American J.B. Holmes (68) another shot back.

Johnson has plundered the par-fives, playing them in 11-under, and his length has become an even more valuable weapon on a course softened all week by heavy rain.

"With all the rain we got last night I struggled with the speed (on the greens) early in the round, kept leaving everything a little bit short but got a handle on it the back nine and finished off really nicely," the world number two told Golf Channel.

"I'm seeing the lines really well. The putter is working. It's just going where I'm looking. I feel like I read the greens very well. I'm making some putts this week."

Johnson, using a putter he put in the bag this week, launched his finishing flourish with a 10-foot birdie at the 14th.

He had a tap-in birdie at the par-five 15th and then made it a hat-trick at the 16th, before capping off his day with a 15-foot birdie at the last.

Despite the cushion, Johnson can take nothing for granted.   Continued...

Sep 10, 2016; Carmel, IN, USA; Dustin Johnson tees off on the 17th hole during the BMW Championship at Crooked Stick GC. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports