Brooks Koepka jumps to sizable CJ Cup lead, closes in on World No. 1

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Brooks Koepka jumps to sizable CJ Cup lead, closes in on World No. 1

PGA Tour

Brooks Koepka jumps to sizable CJ Cup lead, closes in on World No. 1

Here’s a recap of the third round of the CJ Cup at the Club at Nine Bridges in Jeju Island, South Korea:

LEADING: Brooks Koepka may be one day away from becoming World No. 1 for the first time.

The three-time major champion finished birdie-birdie Saturday to close out a bogey-free 5-under 67 and take a four-shot lead at 13 under. Koepka will become World No. 1 with a victory or by finishing solo second and Justin Thomas not winning.

With 18 holes to go, that No. 1 ranking feels quite likely considering Koepka’s position.

A victory would also mean Koepka earning his second career non-major PGA Tour win and his fifth Tour title overall.

Koepka has gone 65-67 over his last 36 holes. If that play continues Sunday, we’ll have a new player on top.

CHASING: Scott Piercy, the 36-hole leader, opened Saturday with a birdie but struggled from there. He would make five bogeys on the day and needed a birdie-birdie finish just to salvage a 72. He did just that and is T-2 at 9 under. Ian Poulter is right there at 9 under as well thanks to a third-round 68. Rafa Cabrera Bello fired a 65 to join a large group in a tie for fourth at 8 under. Chez Reavie, the first-round leader, is also at 8 under.

SHOT OF THE DAY: If Piercy somehow makes a final-round comeback, this gorgeous hole-out to start a birdie-birdie Saturday finish will have been a big factor…

SHORT SHOTS: Jason Day puts together a 65 to jump 20 spots to a tie for 10th at 7 under. … Hideki Matsuyama posts a 66 to rocket 27 spots to T-17 at 5 under. … Thomas, the defending champion, somehow manages a 72 despite a quad on the card. But at 1 under and T-43, Thomas isn’t going to win. That means Koepka only needs solo second to grab World No. 1.

UP NEXT: Golf Channel will air final-round coverage from 10 p.m.-2 a.m. Eastern. Follow all the action live on Golfweek.com and our Facebook and Twitter feeds.

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