Johnson, Casey, Morikawa in gripping finish to PGA Championship

Collin Morikawa checks his shot from the trees on the sixth hole during the final round of the PGA Championship. (AP pic)

SAN FRANCISCO: The first major of 2020 was heading for a gripping finish as Dustin Johnson, Paul Casey and Collin Morikawa shared a one-shot lead over a pack of three golfers midway through the final round of the PGA Championship on Sunday.

With birdies abundant on a Harding Park layout receptive to approach shots, there were nine players within two shots of the co-leaders by the time former world No 1 Johnson, playing in the final group, reached the turn.

Sitting one back of the co-leaders are Australian Jason Day (through 12 holes) and Americans Tony Finau (11) and PGA Tour rookie Scottie Scheffler (nine).

Johnson, who began the day with a one-shot lead, covered the front nine in one-under 34 to reach the turn with a share of the lead at 10 under for the tournament.

The former US Open champion’s only blemish came at the par-three third hole where he made bogey after three-putting from 56ft.

Morikawa, playing in the penultimate pairing and in only his second major start, nearly had the outright lead but his eagle attempt at the 10th hole stopped 16in from the hole.

Casey, who started the day two shots back of Johnson, had three birdies and was bogey free through 10 holes.