World No. 1 Dustin Johnson holds a slender two-shot lead with one round remaining at the 2021 Saudi International powered; by SoftBank Investment Advisers.
The 2019 champion, and last year’s runner up, heads a congested leaderboard after a third round 66.
But some huge names all remain in with a realistic shout to also claim victory at the European Tour event being held at Royal Greens & Country Club.
Johnson, who had to finish his second round earlier in the day due to Friday’s weather delays, was imperious off the tee throughout.
He suffered a rare blip with a double bogey at the 13 — before finishing strongly; with back-to-back birdies to close on 13 under.
“I drove it well and also hit a lot of really good iron shots; in there to give myself a lot of good chances at birdie,” said Johnson.
“I didn’t hole a whole lot of putts but finishing nicely definitely helped the day out. I prefer the golf course. I’ve liked it since the first time I came here a couple years ago.
It’s a pretty big golf tournament; and it will definitely give me a lot of confidence for the rest of the year.”
France’s Victor Perez (-11) was another to take advantage of the perfect scoring conditions after a blemish free round of 66 and is relishing a final pairing with Johnson tomorrow. “I think obviously I will need to make some putts tomorrow,” said Perez.
“I don’t know what the weather is going to be like. Somebody is going to have put a low one to win, and if it’s going to be windy, it’s going to be a grind coming down the stretch for sure. I’ll be very excited for the challenge. I think this is all you strive for.”
Søren Kjeldsen, Tyrrell Hatton, Andy Sullivan; and American star Tony Finau all sit a further shot back on 10 under with the chasing pack making their moves on Saturday.
“I think probably somewhere around 65 is what we’re looking at,” said World No. 15 Finau. “I think 15 to 16 under is probably a good number to shoot for tomorrow. Will need to be aggressive. That’s all there is to it.”
Low round of the day fell to Spaniard Sergio Garcia; with a sparkling 64 that included seven birdies to leave the Ryder Cup star at 9 under — alongside stars that include Victor Hovland, Martin Kaymer and Ryan Fox.
Other notable players in the middle pack include Justin Rose (-8), Kevin Na (-7), Ian Poulter (-7) and Lee Westwood (-6).