Dustin Johnson is confident that this time he will turn a 54-hole lead into major glory after a sublime third-round performance at the Masters.
The world number one shot 65 to move to 16 under par for the tournament, levelling the low score at this stage set by Jordan Spieth at Augusta National in 2015.
Johnson has faced disappointment from similar positions in the past, failing on four occasions to turn a lead after round three into a major win.
The most recent occurred at August’s PGA Championship, though the manner of Colin Morikawa’s stunning victory was in sharp contrast to Johnson’s other nightmares – which included an 82 at Pebble Beach, a bunker miscalculation at Whistling Straits and an ugly three-putt at the last at Chambers Bay.
Speaking about what he needs to do to avoid history repeating itself, Johnson said: “If I can play like I did today, I think it will break that streak.
“Tomorrow it’s just 18 holes of golf. I need to go out and play solid. I feel like I’m swinging really well. If I can just continue to give myself a lot of looks at birdie, I think I’ll have a good day.”
Johnson, who grew up about an hour away from Augusta, acknowledged that there is still plenty of golf left to play.
“It’s definitely still a long way to go. Still got 18 more holes left,” he said. “But I mean, it would mean a lot. What a great event; it’s the Masters, a major.
“I grew up right down the road, so this one would be very special to me.”
Dustin Johnson finds himself four clear of the field at #themasters heading into the final round at Augusta.
A perfect 14-for-14 in finding the fairways during his third round helping the world number one to a seven-under 65, putting him -16 for the tournament. pic.twitter.com/SO0lZFX1f9
— Stats By STATS (@StatsBySTATS) November 14, 2020
Johnson is a consistent winner on the PGA Tour but his sole major triumph came at the 2016 U.S. Open at Oakmont, an experience he plans to draw upon when he tees up on Sunday.
“I put myself in the situation a lot of times. I know what it takes. I know how I respond in this situation,” he added.
“I’m very comfortable with having the lead going into tomorrow. I’ve been in this situation a lot of times. I’m looking forward to the challenge.
“It’s still going to be a tough day. I’m going to have to play well if I want to get it done tomorrow.”
Johnson, who stated how he worked on his putting with the legendary Greg Norman earlier this year, went 14-for-14 in finding fairways during round three.
Debutants Im Sungjae and Abraham Ancer join Australia’s Cameron Smith as the nearest challengers, sitting four strokes adrift, while Dylan Frittelli is five back and Justin Thomas is 10 under.