Johnson starts 2018 as he means to go on
Johnson nearly makes albatross as he charges to Champion of Champions victory in Hawaii.
Dustin Johnson stormed to victory at the PGA Tour Tournament of Champions. Johnson led through 54 holes for the 14th time in his career and held his nerve to convert for the eighth time as he secured PGA Tour victory number 17 in Kapalua, Hawaii.
Yesterday's victory will have helped avenge the disappointment of his performance in the WGC-HSBC Champions in China last November, when he boasted a six-shot advantage only to card a final round 77, allowing Justin Rose to snatch the victory. In truth it was never in doubt as Johnson, the 2016 US Open champion, put together a relentlessly consistent final round - the highlight a huge drive on the 430-yard par-4 12th that finished just six inches from the cup for the easiest and most dramatic eagle of his career.
"If I can play like that every week then I'm going to win a lot of times,'' said the world number one, who will be looking to upgrade his best performance at The Open, a tie for second in 2011 at Royal St George’s, at Carnoustie this summer. "I knew I was playing well, and it's a golf course I'm really comfortable on. I was really driving it well this week. I knew as long as I could keep doing that, I was going to do well,” he added. "It’s a great start to the year and I want to keep it going. Everything is going in the right direction.” This course is certainly a favourite, after he finished 24-under, the largest winning margin since Jordan Spieth two years ago. Indeed in 32 rounds on the course, he’s never finished over par.
Spieth talks about Open nerves and his marriage proposal
Jordan Spieth boasts an impressive record in the Tournament of Champions but admitted more work was needed on his short game and putting after finishing 12 shots back. Spieth and partner Annie Verret announced their engagement over Christmas and he admitted he was more anxious on Royal Birkdale’s back nine last summer than he was popping the question.
"I was probably most nervous at Royal Birkdale,” he told reporters, when asked to compare his two big moments of last year. Recalling his victory, he claimed memories of lifting the Claret Jug are still inspiring him for his 2018 campaign. "The Open Championship just did wonders for me, individually, not only my view of myself but being the man in the arena," he added. "I'm the one out there putting it on the line every week. I'm ready for anything, I’m ready for failure, success and everything in between."
Rahm eyeing world number one place
In a field that featured the world’s top five players, Johnson proved that wrestling the world number one ranking from him won’t be easy this season. Spaniard Jon Rahm was his nearest challenger and his performance is likely to move him to third in the world rankings behind only Johnson and Champion Golfer Spieth. “I’ll keep playing good, keep working, keep learning about myself,” said Rahm, who is starting on his second season on the PGA Tour. “Hopefully, if I keep doing the right things, then someday I can be number one too.”