By Nick Bonfield published
American Dustin Johnson has won the first event of the 2013 PGA Tour season, triumphing by four shots over Steve Stricker at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions in Hawaii.
The tournament - staged at Kapalua's Plantation Course - was reduced to 54 holes because of 50mph winds. It eventually got underway on Monday, believed to be the first Monday start in PGA Tour history.
The tournament did start as planned on Friday, but the howling gusts caused the first round to be abandoned with all scores declared null and void.
The tempestuous conditions carried on over the weekend, meaning the players were tasked with playing 36 holes on Monday.
Dustin Johnson was tied for the lead with Nick Watney and start-of-season expert Mark Wilson on four-under-par after round one, but he surged clear with a second round 66. Defending champion Steve Stricker was two behind on nine-under-par after 36 holes.
Johnson started the final round well, and covered the first 12 holes in three-under-par.
He would double-bogey the 13th hole after a wayward drive, but recovered in fine style with a chip-in eagle at the par-4 14th. Another birdie would follow at the 15th, and a four on the par-5 18th sealed a comprehensive victory.
"It gives me a lot of confidence going in to this year," said Johnson.
"I'm very pleased to come out and get a win this week. I played great golf the last two days."
Stricker - who announced he will play a reduced schedule this year - finished four adrift of Johnson, with 2012 FedEx Cup champion Brandt Snedeker two shots further back on 10-under-par.
Bubba Watson and Keegan Bradley ended the week in a tie for fourth place on nine-under-par.
Hyundai Tournament of Champions Plantation Course, Kapalua, Hawaii January 4-8 Purse: $5,700,000
1) Dustin Johnson (USA) 69 66 68 = 203 $1,140,000 2) Steve Stricker (USA) 71 67 69 = 207 $665,000 3) Brandt Snedeker (USA) 70 70 69 = 209 $432,000 T4) Bubba Watson (USA) 70 69 71 = 210 $304,000 T4) Keegan Bradley (USA) 71 69 70 = 210 $304,000 T6) Rickie Fowler (USA) 70 74 67 = 211 $212,500 T6) Tommy Gainey (USA) 72 69 70 = 211 $212,500 8) Carl Pettersson (SWE) 70 72 70 = 214 $190,00 T9) Ian Poulter (ENG) 71 74 69 = 214 $175,000 T9) Matt Kuchar (USA) 74 71 69 = 214 $175,000
Scores in bold signify Titleist golf ball usage.
Nick Bonfield joined Golf Monthly in 2012 after graduating from Exeter University and earning an NCTJ-accredited journalism diploma from News Associates in Wimbledon. He is responsible for managing production of the magazine, sub-editing, commissioning and feature writing. Most of his online work is opinion-based and typically centres around the Majors and significant events in the global golfing calendar. Nick has been an avid golf fan since the age of ten and became obsessed with the professional game after watching Mike Weir and Shaun Micheel with The Masters and USPGA respectively in 2003. In his time with Golf Monthly, he's interviewed the likes of Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose, Jose Maria Olazabal, Henrik Stenson, Padraig Harrington, Lee Westwood and Billy Horschel and has ghost-written columns for Westwood, Wayne Riley, Matthew Southgate, Chris Wood and Eddie Pepperell. Nick is a 12-handicap golfer and his favourite courses include Old Head, Sunningdale New, Penha Longha, Valderrama and Bearwood Lakes. If you have a feature pitch for Nick, please email email@example.com with 'Pitch' in the subject line. Nick is currently playing: Driver: TaylorMade M1 Fairway wood: TaylorMade RBZ Stage 2 Hybrid: Ping Crossover Irons (4-9): Nike Vapor Speed Wedges: Cleveland CBX Full Face, 56˚, Titleist Vokey SM4, 60˚ Putter: testing in progress! Ball: TaylorMade TP5x
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