Johnson holds 3-shot lead at Saudi International after 61

KING ABDULLAH ECONOMIC CITY, Saudi Arabia — Dustin Johnson shot a course-record 9-under 61 and took a three-stroke lead after two rounds of the Saudi International on Friday.

Third-ranked Johnson is 11 under overall after making seven birdies and an eagle at the Royal Greens Golf and Country Club.

Starting on the back nine, he opened with consecutive birdies and added two more to make the turn in 31.

There was another birdie on No. 2, and a 30-foot eagle putt at the fourth. Consecutive birdies from the sixth hole followed before finishing with a pair of pars.

"You always have fun when you're playing well," Johnson said. "I did a lot of the same things I did yesterday. It was a very good round."

Johnson fared much better than the other members of the world's top three.

Top-ranked Justin Rose missed the cut at 2 over after a 72, while No. 2 Brooks Koepka was tied for 47th at 1 under after a 70.

"I played really well," Koepka said. "I played good enough to be right up there around the lead. I can't figure out these greens. You can hit three putts and they'll go three different ways."

South African golfer Zander Lombard, who briefly held the lead early in his round of 67, and China's Li Haotong, who shot 65, were tied for second at 8 under.

Lombard also started on the back nine and pulled even with overnight leader Thomas Pieters after a birdie at the eighth and an eagle at No. 9. Two more birdies to start the back nine followed, giving him a two-stroke lead. But he was later passed by Johnson before finishing his round with a bogey.

Li rolled in two long birdie putts in his first three holes before a three-putt bogey on the par-5 fourth. Four more birdies followed before pars on his final five holes.

Fabrizio Zanotti of Paraguay (66) and Scott Hend of Australia (63) were a further shot back tied for third.

Pieters had seven bogeys in a round of 4-over 74, dropping him into a tie for 18th at 3 under.

The new European Tour event is being held amid scrutiny of Saudi Arabia's human rights record and condemnation following the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

___

More AP golf: https://apnews.com/apf-Golf and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Related News

Bangladesh reaches dominant 250-2 at tea against...

Jan 31, 2018

Mominul Haque hit 103 ball-107 not out as Bangladesh reached a dominant 250-2 at tea on the first...

Bangladesh takes upper-hand against Sri Lanka

Jan 31, 2018

Mominul Haque hit 175 not out as Bangladesh took the upper-hand in the first test against Sri Lanka...

De Silva's 104 not out leads Sri Lanka reply vs...

Feb 1, 2018

Dhananjaya de Silva scored 104 not out as Sri Lanka made a strong reply after dismissing Bangladesh...

Mendis and de Silva bat Sri Lanka to 504-3 in 1st...

Feb 2, 2018

Opener Kusal Mendis and Dhananjaya de Silva have hit career-best centuries as Sri Lanka has reached...

Sri Lanka eyes final-day win with 713-9;...

Feb 3, 2018

Sri Lanka set up a potential final-day victory in the first test against Bangladesh after smashing...

Mominul makes history with second century in...

Feb 4, 2018

Mominul Haque became the first Bangladesh player to score centuries in both innings of a test as...

About Us

We’re all about evolving the love of sports. With The Sport Ship, you can up your game and receive all the latest news about the sports world before anyone else.

Contact us: sales[at]thesportship.com

Subscribe Now!