DJ holds off Europeans to win WGC-Mexico Championship

Dustin Johnson finished one clear of Tommy Fleetwood at Chapultepec GC

Dustin Johnson wins WGC-Mexico Championship
Dustin Johnson wins WGC-Mexico Championship
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Dustin Johnson won his first tournament since becoming World Number 1, securing the WGC-Mexico Championship by a shot from England’s Tommy Fleetwwod. Six Europeans placed in the top-10.

Dustin Johnson carded a closing round of 68 at Chapultepec GC in Mexico City to win the WGC-Mexico Championship by a stroke from England’s Tommy Fleetwood. Another Englishman Ross Fisher ended the week tied for third with Spanish rookie sensation Jon Rahm.

Johnson led the tournament at the start of the final round and it appeared likely to be a procession for the 32-year-old when he covered the front nine in just 31 shots to move four ahead of the pack.

It was the European contingent applying most pressure to the World Number 1. Thomas Pieters was DJ’s nearest challenger at the halfway point and then John Rahm of Spain, who recently joined the European Tour, made a charge.

The young Spaniard picked up shots with an eagle at the 11th and birdies at the 14th and 15th holes. After Johnson had dropped shots on the 12th and 13th, Rahm found himself in the lead. But the 2016 U.S. Open champion bounced back with a birdie of his own on the 15th and Rahm fell back by three putting both the 16th and 17th holes.

Tommy Fleetwood ended the week as DJ’s nearest challenger. He birdied the last with a long putt to finish on 14-under-par and one back of the American. This was Johnson’s second victory of 2017, having claimed the Genesis Open in his last start on the PGA Tour.

“It means a lot because it's a tough spot to be in," Johnson said. "There's a lot of pressure on you and I came out and I played really well. I hit the ball great all week. The greens are tough to putt on and I didn't feel like I putted my best, but I really hit the ball well and played just well enough I guess because I won by one."

3 Talking points from the WGC-Mexico Championship

1 – Dustin Johnson is only the fifth player to win their first event since becoming World Number 1. The American joins Ian Woosnam, David Duval, Vijay Sigh and Adam Scott as the golfers to have achieved the feat. This was DJ’s fourth World Golf Championship title – only Tiger Woods has more. He now has 14 PGA Tour titles and has extended his lead at the top of the Official World Golf Ranking.

2 – It was a great week for the Europeans with Tommy Fleetwood leading the charge. Picking up almost €1,000,000, this was his biggest payday as a professional. With the result, he has moved to 35th on the Official World Golf Ranking. It’s quite a climb for a man who had fallen as far as 188th towards the end of last year. Fleetwood won in Abu Dhabi earlier this year and he now leads the Race to Dubai standings.

“It’s nice to be playing well again,” he said. “I've been playing really well and it's nice to just shoot scores in the big tournaments with the best players. It's tough to beat the best player in the world, isn't it? But my world ranking keeps going up so try and keep it that way.”

Ross Fisher played a brilliant final round of 65 to finish tied for third with Jon Rahm. Thomas Pieters looked strong as he finished in a tie for fifth.

Rory McIlroy, on a return from injury couldn’t get the putter going on Sunday and he ended the week in a tie for seventh place, four back of DJ. The Northern Irishman had led by two at the halfway stage.

“I needed to get off to a fast start and I didn't. That was really it. The course got a little trickier over the weekend. Maybe I just didn't quite adjust to that. But all in all, first week back, it's okay,” he said.

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3 – Jon Rahm of Spain confirmed that he has the game to mix it with, and beat, the very best in the world. Had it not been for a couple of three-putts at the end, he would have been right there for the win.

“Sometimes you’re going to make bogeys from those greens and unfortunately it happened to me right at the end,” he said.

Watch out for Rahm to feature in other significant events through 2017.

WGC-Mexico Championship Chapultepec GC, Mexico City, Mexico Mar 2-5 Purse: €9,150,000 Par: 71

1    Dustin Johnson (USA)    70    66    66    68    270    €1,563,530 2    Tommy Fleetwood (Eng) 69    70    66    66    271    €984,271 T3    Ross Fisher (Eng)        67    68    72    65    272    €468,117 T3    Jon Rahm (Esp)        67    70    67    68    272    €468,117 T5    Thomas Pieters (Bel)    68    69    68    68    273    €294,339 T5    Justin Thomas (USA)    69    66    66    72    273    €294,339 T7    Rory McIlroy (NIR)    68    65    70    71    274    €199,366 T7    Phil Mickelson (USA)    67    68    68    71    274    €199,366 T7    Brandt Snedeker (USA)    75    68    66    65    274    €199,366 10    Tyrrell Hatton (Eng)    70    67    68    70    275    €156,353

Note: Player score in bold signifies Titleist ball usage

Fergus Bisset
Contributing Editor

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?