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Golf

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World No.1 Johnson on course for home win

Dustin Johnson, known for length off the tee, has shown off his precise ball-positioning and hot putter to take the lead at the PGA Tour's RBC Heritage.

Johnson shot a three-under 68 for a one-shot lead over Shane Lowry, Ian Poulter and Rory Sabbatini.

The top-ranked Johnson, a South Carolina native who had not played his home state's only PGA Tour stop for nine years before returning in 2018, seems to have found a home on Harbour Town Golf Links' narrow fairways and smallish greens.

He had his sixth round in the 60s over the past two years to reach 10-under 203.

"I'm really enjoying playing in it," Johnson said.

"I really enjoyed playing in it last year after being away for so long. It's something I look forward to now.

"We have a really big fan base here and growing up in South Carolina definitely helps."

Ireland's Lowry led the first 48 holes before making three bogeys on his final six holes in a 71 on Saturday.

He was tied at nine under with England's Ian Poulter (67) and South African Rory Sabbatini (68).

Patrick Cantlay fired a five-under 66 to lead a group of six players at eight under and just two strokes behind Johnson.

World No.22 Marc Leishman - the only Australian to make the cut - had a triple bogey seven and a double bogey at the par-5 15th in a horror round of 77 to plummet to three over.

Johnson, who's won 20 PGA Tour titles, showed off other parts of his game that sometimes get overlooked by his booming drives.

He saved par out of the pine straw after a bad drive to the right and into the trees on the 12th hole, then made birdie on the par-5 15th after putting his tee shot in the woods. He hit just five of 14 fairways, yet had only 25 putts.

"The course played tough. It was very challenging," he said. "It was tough getting balls close to the hole."

So Johnson just made a bunch of long putts - including a 47-foot bomb that caught the lip of the cup and rolled almost all the way around before dropping.

Lowry was among 56 players who had to finish the rain-delayed second round in the morning.

--End of article--

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