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Thursday, 18 October, 2018

Dustin Johnson looks likely to outclass his leaderboard rivals

Overdue Canadian Open joy looms large

Dustin Johnson could be cuddling up to a trophy on Sunday night
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Sky Sports Golf, 7pm Sunday

Story so far
Dustin Johnson is tied atop the Canadian Open leaderboard with 18 holes to play, the world number one locked alongside three others on 17 under par.

Johnson, who has twice finished runner-up in this tournament at the Glen Abbey course being used this week, was 7-1 ante-post, but no bigger than 11-10 is available going into the final round.

Three US Tour maidens – Byeong Hun An, Kevin Tway and Whee Kim – share top spot with Johnson. Brooks Koepka, 12-1 second-favourite ante-post, missed the cut by seven shots after opening with a round of 77.

Leaderboard
-17 Dustin Johnson, Byeong Hun An, Kevin Tway, Whee Kim
-13 Hudson Swafford, Rory Sabbatini

Best prices
11-10 D Johnson, 7-2 B H An, 11-2 K Tway, 13-2 W Kim, 80 R Sabbatini, 100 H Swafford, 150 bar

Final-round advice
Dustin Johnson was a confident Racing Post Sport pre-tournament headline selection and the giant Carolinian has put himself in excellent position to provide a post-Open fillip for his supporters.

Johnson arrived at Glen Abbey on Monday, determined to get back to winning ways, eager to claim a first Canadian Open title after a couple of near-misses. His coach has described how Johnson was in “full grind mode” in practice and the 19-times US Tour champ, who will soon marry into a Canadian family, is highly motivated to win this particular tournament.

Johnson has improved his score each day, carding rounds of 68, 66 and 65, and is clearly oozing confidence on a layout he loves. Two bursts of power scoring on Saturday – five under par for the first six holes, then a birdie, birdie, eagle blast from 14 through 16 – took him to the head of affairs.

Johnson tops the driving-distance stats and will be disappointed with his yield of only two under par from the four par-fives in round three. He made a mess of the 13th and the 18th, and can be expected to gain his revenge on those holes in round four.

Crucially for Johnson backers, he appears to have got his putting sorted, intensive work on the practice green paying off. He needed only 26 putts in round three and will almost certainly become champion if he gets close to that figure on Sunday.

Byeong Hun An, 2015 BMW PGA Championship victor and two-time US Tour playoff loser, is the biggest threat to Johnson. But it is a surprise to find an odds-against quote next to the name of DJ. A press-up at 11-10, with a stake-saver on An at 7-2, could be a sensible final-round tactic.

Sunday twoball punters are pointed towards Joel Dahmen, who is playing with long-term job security for the first time and loving every minute of it. The 30-year-old Washington man is freewheeling, having wrapped up his US Tour future for next season with a profitable summer purple patch, and he can see off Abraham Ancer in the 6.10pm (UK and Ireland time) match.

Tony Finau, who closed round three with a spectacular eagle, should carry far too many guns for Mackenzie Hughes in the 5.30pm contest and may be an attractive option for those looking to put someone in a double with Dahmen.

Twoballs recommendations
J Dahmen
2pts 19-20 Sky Bet

T Finau
2pts 13-20 Coral, Ladbrokes


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Sunday twoball punters are pointed towards Joel Dahmen, who is playing with long-term job security for the first time
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