Tuesday, January 16, 2018
Sports

Dufner sets himself up for second straight win

FORT WORTH, Texas — Jason Dufner and Zach Johnson have set up what will basically be a match-play final round for the title in the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial.

The final pairing is Dufner, whose only two PGA Tour victories have come in the past four weeks, against the 2007 Masters champion who got the last of his seven wins two years ago.

"It seems like one of us is either going to win or finish second," Dufner said after his 4-under 66 in the third round gave him a one-stroke lead over Johnson (65) at 15-under 195.

Tom Gillis (69) was a distant third at 7 under.

Dufner, the winner last week in the Byron Nelson Championship, is trying to win for the third time in five weeks. The last player to win in consecutive weeks on the PGA Tour was Tiger Woods in 2009. Nobody won more than two tournaments last season.

"The leaderboards here most of the year have been pretty packed," Dufner said, "and you got a lot of guys having a chance to win the title the last nine holes."

After two bogeys the previous three holes, Dufner matched playing partner Johnson's birdie putt on the 17th hole and overcame a wayward final tee shot to save par and keep the lead.

Champions: Roger Chapman shot 7-under 64 to take a five-stroke lead into the final round of the Senior PGA Championship at Benton Harbor, Mich. Chapman was at 14-under 199, his 54-hole score tying the tournament record set by Sam Snead in 1973, though Snead was 17 under. John Cook, who began the round tied with Chapman for the lead, shot 69 to drop into second. Hale Irwin (69) was tied for third at 7 under.

European: Luke Donald moved to the brink of a second successive BMW PGA Championship title and reclaiming the top world ranking by shooting 3-under 69 to take a two-stroke lead after the third round at Virginia Water, England, and Ernie Els launched an expletive-laced attack on tour officials and greenskeepers for failing to water the putting surfaces enough.

Donald overcame tough, windy conditions at Wentworth to be one of only three players to break 70 on a day of high scoring that led to Els' tirade. Donald was at 11-under 205. Justin Rose (69) was second.

Els, who shot 70 and was six behind Donald in a tie for fourth, helped redesign the course in 2010 and was criticized for tough changes he made. He said some of the greens were "dead," making it nearly impossible to hold approach shots.

"I'm fed up with it. … It's not my … job doing it. It's their job," he said. Talking to some tour officials was "like talking to this wall behind me," he said.

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