Dustin Johnson won the first PGA Tour event of 2018 with something to spare, firing a closing 65 to come out on top by eight strokes in the Sentry Tournament of Champions.
DJ began the final round two clear of Brian Harman at Kapalua but had increased his advantage to six through the first nine holes. He then turned on the afterburners, driving close on the par-4 12th and leaving a tap-in eagle.
It was a second eagle in two days for DJ on the 432-yard hole. On Saturday he had holed a 70 yard downhill chip and, on the final day, he made it far easier for himself by blasting his tee shot all the way to the putting surface.
3 Talking points from the Sentry Tournament of Champions
1 – This was a 17th PGA Tour victory for Johnson who has strengthened his position as the World’s Number 1 golfer. He has now won a tournament on the circuit in 11 straight seasons – the longest current streak on the PGA Tour. Johnson drove the ball prodigiously all week in Hawaii and that was a key to his success. Aside from his tap-in eagle on the 12th, DJ also drove the par-4 14th during the final round. "I knew I was playing well, and it's a golf course I'm really comfortable on," Johnson said. "I was really driving it well this week. I knew as long as I could keep doing that, I was going to do well." DJ will play next in the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship on the European Tour.
How to conquer tight drives video:
2 – By finishing alone in second, Spain’s Jon Rahm has moved to third on the Official World Golf Ranking. A runner-up to DJ in the matchplay last year, Rahm confirmed that he is a talent that’s here to stay on the PGA Tour. “If I keep playing good, keep working, keep learning about myself, I just need to keep getting better scores without my A game like I have this week,” Rahm said. “Hopefully I can keep playing good and maybe someday be No.1. If it's not meant to be, it's not meant to be, but it's definitely one of my goals.”
3 – Hideki Matsuyama finished in a tie for fourth and looks to be coming back onto form. He has two top-five finishes from three starts on the PGA Tour so far this season and he had reason for optimism after his final round 66. "What I'm going to take from this week is I really hit some quality iron shots all week long,” he said. “I wish I could say the same about my driver and putter. But, again, I'm looking forward to these next two weeks to correct the things that I need to and be ready for my next tournament at Torrey Pines.”
Sentry Tournament of Champions Plantation Course at Kapalua, Maui, Hawaii Jan 4-7 Purse: $6,300,000 Par: 73
1 Dustin Johnson (USA) 69 68 66 65 268 $1,260,000 2 Jon Rahm (Esp) 71 70 66 69 276 $735,000 3 Brian Harman (USA) 68 68 69 72 277 $461,000 T4 Hideki Matsuyama (Jap) 70 70 72 66 278 $296,000 T4 Pat Perez (USA) 72 66 71 69 278 $296,000 T4 Rickie Fowler (USA) 69 71 68 70 278 $296,000 T7 Marc Leishman (Aus) 67 69 76 67 279 $204,000 T7 Jhonattan Vegas (Ven) 68 70 71 70 279 $204,000 9 Jordan Spieth (USA) 75 66 70 69 280 $185,000 10 Si Woo Kim (Kor) 69 71 72 69 281 $174,000
Note: Player score in bold signifies Titleist ball usage
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Fergus is Golf Monthly's resident expert on the history of the game and has written extensively on that subject. He is a golf obsessive and 1-handicapper. Growing up in the North East of Scotland, golf runs through his veins and his passion for the sport was bolstered during his time at St Andrews university studying history. He went on to earn a post graduate diploma from the London School of Journalism. Fergus has worked for Golf Monthly since 2004 and has written two books on the game; "Great Golf Debates" together with Jezz Ellwood of Golf Monthly and the history section of "The Ultimate Golf Book" together with Neil Tappin , also of Golf Monthly.
Fergus once shanked a ball from just over Granny Clark's Wynd on the 18th of the Old Course that struck the St Andrews Golf Club and rebounded into the Valley of Sin, from where he saved par. Who says there's no golfing god?
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