Dustin Johnson is now the fifth World No. 1 to win his debut tournament as the world’s best golfer, following his fourth World Golf Championship title. Tiger Woods is the only other player with at least four WGC trophies (18 total).
In a final round that began with Justin Thomas in the lead, and Rory McIlroy and Phil Mickelson ripe for the win, it was Johnson who outplayed them all on Sunday.
It was not without drama though as Spain’s rookie, Jon Rahm, made his own charge for the lead with an eagle on the 11th and consecutive birdies on the 14th and 15th holes.
Johnson looked like he would coast to victory with four birdies on the front nine, but back-to-back bogeys on the 12th and 13th made things interesting. Then he showed why he’s No. 1 in the world.
With a slim one-shot lead, Johnson got himself out of a jam on the 18th by dropping a three-quarter shot from the bunker right onto the green. After his clutch shot from 127 yards away, Johnson parred the hole in two putts.
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) March 5, 2017
“Probably the best shot I hit all week, especially under the circumstances, was that second shot on 18,” said Johnson. “A fantastic shot.”
Johnson closed the tournament with a 3-under 68 and 14-under 270 overall. England’s Tommy Fleetwood sank a birdie from 40 feet on the 18th to secure himself second place as well as his first ever trip to the Masters.
“I think it’s really similar,” said Johnson when asked about how his game feels compared to last year. “I feel like the game is very good right now, all assets of the game – driving, putting, chipping. My bunker game has definitely improved a little bit. I’m going to continue to work hard, continue to try to get better, but I think right now everything is working pretty well.”
It’s not hard to see why Dustin Johnson is the world’s current No. 1 with five victories out of his last 15 PGA Tour starts. Those wins include the 2016 U.S. Open and two WGC titles (2016 Bridgestone Invitational, 2017 Mexico Championship).
Johnson is as hot as any player right now.
Dustin's last 3 starts …
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) March 6, 2017
Johnson’s next tournament will be the WGC-Dell Match Play at Austin Country Club (March 22-26).