DJ builds lead to 6 in WGC-HSBC Champions

Dustin Johnson has won three of the last five World Golf Championships and he’s closing in on his sixth WGC title.

The top-ranked Johnson shot 4-under-par 68 to take a six-stroke lead over Brooks Koepka in the WGC-HSBC Champions at Sheshan International Golf Club in Shanghai, China.

“Today was a tough day with the wind,” said DJ, the only player to win all four of the WGC tournaments. “Felt like I played really, really well. You know, had a double-bogey on 10, but I actually hit a really good drive right down the right side of the fairway and landed on the cart path and went straight right into the bushes. But other than that, it was a really solid day. I hit a lot of good drives and a lot of good iron shots.

“And tomorrow going in, I’m not going to change anything. Same game plan. You know, play the golf course just how I’ve been playing it. These are big events, some of our biggest events we have on tour. Obviously the best players in the world are here. It’s golf tournaments that I obviously always want to put myself in position to win, which I’m in a good position going into tomorrow. But I’m still going to have to go out and play a really solid round if I want to get it done.”

Johnson, who won this event in 2013, set a tournament record with a 54-hole total of 17-under 199.

Koepka, the first-round leader and the reigning U.S. Open champion, regained the lead with birdies on the first three holes, but lost his ball in the trees en route to a triple-bogey 8 on the eighth hole while shooting 73.

Henrik Stenson had four birdies in a span of seven holes on the back nine in a 69 and is seven shots back in third, while Brian Harman shot 70 and is one more back in a tie for fourth with Justin Rose of England, who shot 72.

Kyle Stanley and Peter Uihlein carded 69s and are nine down in a tie for sixth with Rafa Cabrera Bello, who came in at 70.

Tyrrell Hatton of England, who won his last two starts on the European Tour, totaled 71 and is 10 behind in a tie for ninth with Matt Kuchar and Matthew Fitzpatrick of England, who both had 72s.

Defending champion Hideki Matsuyama of Japan shot 72 and is tied for 60th.

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