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Green gets his nose in front

Green gets his nose in front

Gavin Green edged into a one shot lead at the top of a tight leaderboard on day three of the 2020 Saudi International powered by SoftBank Investment Advisers.

Gavin Green

The Malaysian entered the weekend at Royal Greens Golf and Country Club one shot behind college roommate Victor Perez but bookended a front nine of 33 with birdies to get to 11 under, one shot ahead of his playing partner.

Perez's fellow Frenchman Victor Dubuisson was then at nine under, a shot clear of defending champion Dustin Johnson and fellow U.S. Open Championship winner Graeme McDowell.

Italian Renato Paratore was at seven under, one ahead of World Number One Brooks Koepka and Belgian Thomas Detry, who were in the clubhouse after rounds of 65.

American Johnson made a flying start, putting his approach on the first within three feet, getting to similar range on the second, and then holing a 15 foot right to lefter on the third to get to eight under.

He was soon three back as Perez took advantage of a booming drive at the first with an approach to eight feet, with Green putting his approach to tap-in range for a birdie of his own.

Johnson holed from 25 feet on the fourth to make it four in a row but Perez spun his second at the second back to four feet and moved to 12 under.

His progress was abruptly stopped on the third, however, as he found sand off the tee and three putted for a double bogey that put Green in a share of the lead and bunched up the leaderboard.

McDowell holed a 12 footer for birdie on the second, while Dubuisson birded the same hole, rolled his tee shot to four feet at the next and then took advantage of the par five fourth as both men sat within one.

Paratore had also made the most of the fourth with two putts and when he got up and down from the sand on the seventh, he was just one back, with the four man group in second three shots clear of the next nearest challengers.

The playing partners made a mess of the eighth, with McDowell dropping a shot and Paratore making a double, and Johnson made a bogey after rolling off the 11th green to leave Dubuisson alone in second.

Green then put an approach to six feet at the ninth and he was the solo leader.

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