Johnson and Putnam tied for third-round St. Jude Classic lead

Dustin Johnson

Dustin Johnson

Johnson shot 7-under 63 for his lowest round this year and grabbed a one-stroke lead Friday after 36 holes at the St. Jude Classic.

Putnam, who finished with a 2-over 72 on Sunday, had just one bogey over his first 54 holes this week but immediately felt the pressure of playing in the final group for the first time on the PGA Tour. "It was nice to finish like that and get it back".

J.B. Holmes finished third at 9 under after firing a final-round 3-under 67 to complete his week with four straight rounds in the 60s.

Though he did not do anything extraordinary on Sunday until his walk-off 9-iron shot at 18, he reiterated the state of his game.

Johnson and Thomas, who is not in the field this week, will join Tiger Woods for the first two rounds of the U.S. Open starting Thursday at Shinnecock Hills in NY.

"I'm rolling it down the line I'm looking", Johnson said. Stewart Cink (72) and Richy Werenski (71) tied at eight under. Defending U.S. Open champ Brooks Koepka (69) was at 5 under, and Phil Mickelson (70) was at 4 under.

Johnson had led the rankings for 15 months before Thomas took over on May 13 and the win also moved him into second place in the PGA FedEx Cup standings.

At 3 under, Johnson opened with a 6-foot birdie putt on No. 10 only to bogey Nos.

Putnam, a two-time victor on the Web.com Tour, had only one bogey through his first three rounds but never recovered after his poor opening hole, which included a three putt. So that definitely gives me a lot of confidence going into a U.S. Open because you've got to drive it well, you've got to control your distance well, and you've got to hit really quality golf shots at a U.S. Open. And from that moment on, Johnson's second title of 2018 was never in doubt. Teeing off in the afternoon when the wind was stronger, Nordqvist closed her bogey-free round with a birdie on the par-5 ninth. The 28-year-old conjured six (of 14) fairways and hit 11 greens in regulation, losing 1.804 strokes off-the-tee but gaining 4.235 approaching and 1.578 around-the-green. He chipped to 5 feet and birdied for a four-stroke lead.

Johnson will be among the favourites to win the U.S. Open starting on Thursday at the Shinnecock Hills Golf Course in NY and he is confident of repeating his 2016 victory in the year's second major.

The U.S. won all five sessions for the first time, and every American earned at least two points.