Dustin Johnson had one arm in the Green Jacket after charging to a four-shot lead with a magnificent third round at the Masters on Saturday.
Ten players were within one stroke starting the round, but Johnson was a class apart, in control of every facet of his game as he broke clear after almost holing his approach shot for a tap-in eagle at the par-five second.
He did not really miss a green until the final hole, where for the only time all day he was forced to call upon his deft short game to save par.
Johnson matched Jordan Spieth’s record low Masters total for the first 54 holes — 16-under-par 200 — while South Korean Im Sung-jae (68), Mexican Abraham Ancer (69) and Australian Cameron Smith (69) were equal second on 12-under.
“I am swinging well, got a lot of confidence in what I’m doing,” said the American. “I was in control of my game, hit a lot of really good shots right where I was looking.
“Tomorrow I’m going to have to do the same kind of thing. I’m still going to have to play a really good round if I want to put on the Green Jacket.”
Only two players have surrendered a bigger 54-hole lead at the Masters — Greg Norman (six shots) in 1996 and Ed Sneed (five shots) in 1979.
Rory McIlroy (2011) and Ken Venturi (1956) could not close the deal with four-stroke cushions.