SHANGHAI — As part of a promotional stunt for the HSBC Champions this week, Dustin Johnson was among three players wearing superhero capes on a hotel roof, suspended by ropes a few feet in the air against a backdrop of downtown Shanghai.
"I should have pushed him off the platform," Henrik Stenson said with a laugh.
That might have been the only way to stop the world’s No. 1 player from more domination in the World Golf Championships.
All it took was one hole Saturday for Johnson to seize control on a blustery day at Sheshan International, along with some help from former FSU standout Brooks Koepka. A four-shot swing on the par-5 eighth — birdie for Johnson, triple bogey for Koepka — sent Johnson on his way to 4-under 68 and a six-shot lead going into today’s final round.
"I’m not going to change anything — play the golf course just how I’ve been playing it," said Johnson, who has 22 birdies in 54 holes and was at 17-under 199.
At stake is a chance to become the first player to win three WGC events in the same year, a feat not even Tiger Woods with his 18 WGC titles accomplished.
"He’s going to wake up in good shape and go ahead and play a solid round of golf. If he does that, the tournament is over," said Justin Rose, who played in the final group with Johnson and stumbled to 72 to fall eight back.
Koepka and Johnson were tied for the lead through seven holes until No. 8. Koepka drove into the hazard off the tee, then found the hazard again on his approach to the green. He missed a 6-foot putt and took triple-bogey 8 en route to 73, six shots back in second place. Stenson (69) was another shot back in third.
PGA: Ryan Armour shot 5-under 67 for a five-stroke lead at the Sanderson Farms Championship in Jackson, Miss. Armour, who led by one after 36 holes, moved to 15-under 201. Chesson Hadley (68) was next at 10 under. Armour, 41, is seeking his first tour title in his 105th event.
LPGA: Cristie Kerr fired 6-under 65 for 15-under 198 and a one-stroke lead going into the final round over defending champ Feng Shanshan (68) at the LPGA Malaysia at Kuala Lumpur.
CHAMPIONS: Bernhard Langer shot his second 3-under 69 to pull into a tie with Miguel Angel Jimenez (70) and David Toms (72) for the second-round lead at the PowerShares QQQ Championship in Thousand Oaks, Calif. The three were at 6-under 138. Scott McCarron (69), Billy Andrade (70) and Jeff Maggert (73) were a shot back.