Olesen helps Europe win back the Ryder Cup

It was Francesco Molinari who secured the winning point, as Europe regained the Ryder Cup on a thrilling final day at Le Golf National last weekend.

Heading into the Sunday singles leading by 10 points to 6, the United States won three of the top five singles match to close the gap to just one point, 

Out in match number 7, rookie Thorbjørn Olesen took down Jordan Spieth (5&4) to claim a much-needed point for the European side. 

Having raced into a lead of five after a brilliant birdie on the 9th, he birdied again on the 16th hole to complete one of the most one-sided singles matches of the day. 

“I really wanted to play today, having not been there (on Saturday),” he said. “It’s unbelievable to do it like this. The crowds went mental.”

Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka were in action for the USA team, with Brooks recording 1 and a half points for the week and Dustin with one point. 

Congratulations to Thorbjørn and Team Europe on their victory and Dustin and Brooks and Team USA on their performance throughout the week. All three of you continue to do us proud both on and off the golf course!

Johnson cruises to victory at the RBC Canadian Open

World number one Dustin Johnson captured his 19th PGA Tour title at the RBC Canadian Open on Sunday and rewrote the history books by becoming the first player since Tiger Woods in 2009 to win three or more times in three consecutive seasons. 

Heading into the final round at Glen Abbey tied for the lead with Kevin Tway, Whee Kim and Byeong Hun An, Johnson pulled away quickly with back to back birdies on his opening two holes to lead the field by two shots. 

After birdies at the first, second and eighth, Johnson stayed out in front for the rest of the day and headed into the back nine three-under for his final round.

Even a weather delay for roughly 90 minutes couldn’t derail Johnson. He came out following the restart and made four birdies on the back nine and went on to shoot a six-under 66 and finish on 23 under par.

Johnson said on Saturday that his only goal on Sunday was to play the par-5’s better and he did just that, making birdie on all four of them. 

Dustin’s most impressive display on a par-5 on Sunday came at the 16th hole, where he missed the fairway with his tee shot, leaving him a difficult 180-yard second on a downslope, out of the rough and to a back left pin. Johnson hit a pitching wedge that landed on the green and just rolled to the back fringe, leading him to calmly get down in two, resulting in one of his seven birdies on Sunday.

“Signing with RBC this year and coming up here and winning, especially on a golf course where I’ve had success, it means a lot,” Johnson said. “Obviously, having a lot of ties to Canada with Paulina, her dad, Wayne, who, thanks to him, I get a lot of fans out here. It makes it a lot more fun playing out here in front of a big crowd. I had a lot of support this week, and it was a lot of fun.”

Johnson retained his spot on top of the FedExCup standings with this victory and also increased his lead at the top of the Official World Golf Rankings.

Well done on your 19th PGA Tour Title Dustin. We are all so proud of you and we know that you will break plenty more records over the course of your career!

Main image courtesy of Getty Images/ Minas Panagiotakis

18th career victory for Johnson at the FedEx St. Jude Classic

Dustin Johnson’s victory at the FedEx St. Jude Classic on Sunday not only gave him his eighteenth career victory, it also lifted him back up to the World Number one spot.

Holing out for an eagle from 170 yards on his final hole, Johnson went on to finish with a six-shot lead.

“What a cool way to end the day,” Johnson said.

A final round 66 (-4), including an eagle, three birdies and a bogey, granted Johnson his second PGA Tour victory this season, and the eighteenth of his career. He finished on a total of 19 under par (261) and it was also the second time that Dustin has won the FedEx St. Jude Classic

Starting his round tied for the lead with Andrew Putnam, Dustin parred the first hole, while Putnam double bogeyed, meaning a two-shot swing, and suddenly DJ was leading by two.

After hitting an iron off the tee at the twelve and going left of the cart path, Johnson saved par with a 16-foot putt to protect his two-shot lead. 

“That was a big putt,” Johnson said. “That kind of gave me the boost I needed to finish out the round. Sometimes those par putts are just as big if not bigger than the birdie putts. Kind of gave me the extra boost I needed to finish the round.”

He then hit a 359-yard drive on the par 4 thirteenth, leaving him just a mere 95 yards to the pin. An approach shot to three feet gave him his second birdie and got him 16 under par.

On the par 5 16th, Dustin’s tee shot found the trees on the right-hand side of the fairway, and he threaded a shot up to the green. A chip to 5 feet and a simple birdie putt gave him a four-shot lead. 

Johnson’s final hole is one that he will never forget. His drive found the semi-rough to the right-hand side of the fairway and left him with 170 yards to the pin. Hitting his second shot with a 9-iron, it bounced twice and found the bottom of the cup, much to the excitement of Johnson and fans. 

Dustin shot four straight rounds in the sixties at TPC Southwind –  67, 63 and 65, before his final round 66.

In winning the FedEx St. Jude Classic, Dustin reclaimed the World Number 1 spot, which he held for 15 months, before Justin Thomas over took him on May 13th. 

Well done DJ on your win at TPC Southwind and best of luck this week at the US Open Championship. We are all incredibly proud of you!

(Photo by Stan Badz/PGA TOUR)

Johnson surges to Sentry Tournament of Champions victory

Dustin Johnson cemented his status as the best player in the world, as he surged to a dominant eight-shot victory at the Sentry Tournament of Champions, at Kapalua, Hawaii.

Johnson began his final round with only a two-shot advantage over Brian Harman and three-shots over World #4 Jon Rahm, but matching the low round of the week, a superb seven-under 65, Johnson quickly separated himself from the pack en route to a winning score of 24 under par.

Following up his rounds of 69, 68 and 66, Johnson’s phenomenal final round included four birdies on the front nine, and an eagle on the par-four 12th.

His dominance off the tee at Kapalua was highlighted by a 430-yard tee shot on the 12th, which finished within six inches of the pin, and left him with a tap-in eagle. Johnson also eagled the par-4 12th on Saturday with a hole out from 70 yards.

“I started hitting it real straight and controlled it,” Johnson said. “The driver is what won me the golf tournament this week. I don’t think I hit a bad drive all week.”

Three straight birdies on the 14th, 15th and 16th holes on the Plantation Course, extended Johnson’s lead and made the walk up the penultimate and final holes even more enjoyable.

Johnson has now won at least once in each of his 11 seasons out on the PGA Tour.

“Obviously winning every year out here on Tour so far is big for me. I’m very proud of being able to do that. It’s not easy to win out here. A lot of seasons I’ve only had one win, but last year was my most and hopefully I can do even better than that this year,” Johnson said of winning every season that he has been out on the PGA Tour.

Congratulations on your 17th PGA Tour win Dustin, and here’s to a fantastic 2018 season!

(Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)

Dustin Johnson wins The Northern Trust

At the opening leg of the FedExCup Playoffs, Dustin Johnson overcame a five-shot lead held by Jordan Spieth, to claim victory at The Northern Trust. 

A battle along the back nine with big shots and big moments, Johnson and Spieth were tied on the par-3 17th when both hit into a bunker. Dustin blasted out to 4 feet and tapped in for par. Spieth had 18 feet for par and knocked it in. 

Now it was down to the 18th hole. Spieth’s drive found the fairway. Dustin, meanwhile, hit his drive slightly right and had 210 yards to the hole from the right rough. He opted to lay up, instead of trying to hammer a shot to an elevated green. 

“What am I doing?” he said, adding, “I hit myself in the worst possible spot that I could. Even if I aim left and cut it and it goes in the bunker, a much better position than I am in the right rough with 210 yards to the hole. I mean, I’ve got no chance. I just couldn’t get to the green with the lie I had.”

 Needing to hole a 25 foot downhill putt to force a playoff, as Spieth had 3 feet for par, he did so with a perfectly measured putt. 

They both finished at 13 under par, with Dustin shooting a final round 66 (4 under). 

Returning to the 18th hole for the playoff, Johnson took on the lake and bombed a 341-yard tee-shot, the longest of the week on that hole, that left him with just a lob wedge to the pin. Spieth hit his 7 iron to the back collar of the green and missed 25-footot birdie putt. Johnson had 4 feet for the win, and calmly rolled it in for the victory. 

“I feel like the game is finally back in form like it was before the Masters. We were having fun,” said Johnson, the new FedExCup leader. 

“Obviously I had a little bit more fun at the end of the day after I won the playoff.”

Congratulations Dustin on your fourth win of the year – phenomenal golf! 

Dustin claims career WGC Grand Slam at Dell Match Play

Dustin Johnson, a golfing machine with no discernible weakness and hardly any pulse, won the World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play on Sunday for his third straight victory and made him the first player to complete the WGC career slam.

The final day lasted longer than he may have wanted, but the outcome was what everyone expected.

Johnson stretched ahead by winning four holes in succession from the 3rd tee. Yet Rahm displayed the tenacity which served him so well all week by holing from off the green at the 7th before winning both the 9th and 10th to keep Johnson just about within view.

A key moment looked to have arrived at the 11th, Johnson saving par and a half from 6ft as Rahm looked to impose himself further on the match. Johnson claimed the 12th to move to what appeared the unassailable position of four up with only six to play. Appeared proved the operative term.

Rahm roared again with victory on the 13th after he found the green from the tee of the par-four hole. Rahm also took the 15th, leaving Johnson two up with three to play. At the 16th Rahm brilliantly holed from 31ft, meaning Johnson was suddenly only one hole ahead with two to play.

An engrossing duel rumbled on to the 18th, Rahm overshooting the green from 368 yards away with his tee shot before leaving a chip 25ft short – he was not helped by a loud noise when mid-swing. Johnson duly made par as Rahm could do no better, leaving the world No1 as the champion by the most slender of margins.

Not once did Johnson trail in his 112 holes over seven matches. And while you might not have heard much about his semifinal combatant Hideto Tanihara (a 14-time winner in Japan and no slouch) he also destroyed major winners Webb Simpson (5 and 3), Martin Kaymer (3 and 2), Jimmy Walker (5 and 3) and Zach Johnson (5 and 4) and took out world No.10 Alex Noren (3 and 2). Johnson secured his final spot with a last-four victory over Hideto Tanihara. In that match he continued a stunning run of winning the opening hole at Austin Country Club in six matches out of six.

“Pretty awesome,” said Johnson after his dominant week. “Definitely kind of cool to be the first one to win all four. These are the biggest events besides the majors, with the best golfers in the world. I feel like there will be some more to do it, but I’m very, very pleased with it”, he said.

“I felt like I was still attacking the golf course,” he said. “You’ve got to make putts. And I felt like, especially this afternoon, it was really difficult, the wind was blowing, the greens got fast. So it was really tough to make putts.”

“It’s impossible to win every week. I know that. I still feel like I’m not playing my best golf,” Johnson said while basking in the presence of the Walter Hagen Cup. I’m playing really well, don’t get me wrong, but I don’t feel like I’m playing my best.

“Obviously I’ve won my last three. But I’m just going to have to keep working hard. Keep working on the things that I’m working on right now, and just keep trying to get better. Like I was saying before, being No. 1, it kind of drives me to work harder and to get better. There’s still a lot of room for improvement in my game. So I’m just going to keep working on it.”

When John Rahm was asked about Johnson’s abilities after the final, he said, “It’s amazing how he’s able to keep cool the entire round. It amazes me. And he’s just a perfect, complete player. Honestly, he doesn’t really make mistakes. I think he’s learned from what he’s done in the past and he’s embracing it now and that’s why he’s winning tournaments.”

Johnson says 95 percent of the time golf doesn’t feel easy. But right now the other five percent is in play.

“I believe in my ability. And I know what it takes to win out here,” he said ominously.

“Some days it’s easier. I feel like when you’re rolling in putts, that’s when the game gets pretty easy.”

In the last two starts at Augusta National Johnson finished T6 and T4… so he’s trending up.

Most have instilled him as a prohibitive favorite to add a second major as he seems impervious to nerves. But Johnson admits he still gets them.

“I want to win, it means something to me, so yeah I get nervous,” he says.

“But I’ve got a lot of confidence now. Confidence in my game and confidence in myself.”

“It’s not going to be any different for me (going forward). I’m still going to prepare like I always do and go out and try to play the best I can.”

“The Masters is always a tournament that I look forward to every year. I’ve actually played good there the last two years. I’m excited to go back when the game is in good form. I feel like everything is working pretty well.”

Johnson is now slated to play at the Shell Houston Open next week before taking his talents to the Masters. But keeping on a roll like this is very hard. The last player to win at least four in a row was Woods in 2007-2008 (he won five).

Congratulations DJ on yet another victory, and on writing your name in the history books. All at Hambric Sports are so proud of you.

Article courtesy of the PGA Tour

The World Number 1 chooses Hublot

2016, the start of a bright future for Dustin Johnson. Gaining his first Major title with victory in the US Open 2016, DJ confirmed his star status in the discipline, rising to the world number 1 spot in 2017. At 32, the American champion joined the ranks of Major winners and became a friend of Hublot. An explosive athlete whose steely determination and resolve have been rewarded.

He is considered the most gifted and athletic player on the circuit, thanks to his ultra-powerful, precise drives and his superb skills on the putting green. His peers have long known him as “the best player in the world never to have won a Major title”, and voted him “Player of the Year” on the PGA Tour in 2016. A much-deserved accolade in recognition of 10 years during which Dustin Johnson has played with an extraordinary determination, confirming the notion that champions are simply those who never give up.

“I am honored to join the distinguished list of Hublot Ambassadors, especially since I have always been such an admirer of their timepieces. Each one is so unique, unlike many of the other luxury brands, which I appreciate and enjoy. I am very excited about the partnership and hope to hoist a few trophies with a Hublot on my wrist.” Dustin Johnson

At 32, Dustin Johnson, otherwise known as “DJ”, has entered the annals of golf to join the select group of Major title winners. His talent has finally been rewarded with victory. Gaining his first Major tournament title with a win at the US Open in August 2016, DJ enjoyed an exceptional season.

He also won the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational and the BMW Championship. As part of the American team, he brought the Ryder Cup back to his country eight years after they last triumphed over the Europeans. Having amassed an impressive Top 10 record, 2016 saw Johnson confirm his status in the discipline, rising to the top of the rankings and winning the PGA Tour Money List. At the peak of his prowess, he confirms his number 1 position in winning the World Golf Championships- Mexico.

The Hublot family brings together men and women who have altered history. Exceptional athletes who have left their mark on the history of sport. The fastest man alive, Usain Bolt; footballing legends Pelé and Maradona; charismatic football manager José Mourinho, and many others. And now, Dustin Johnson has chosen Hublot, “a perfect match” between the watchmaker symbolising “the art of fusion” and the man blazing a trail through professional golf.

Johnson wins in Mexico on debut as World No. 1

Another week, another victory for Dustin Johnson who didn’t falter when a challenge arrived on Sunday at the WGC Mexico Championship. Playing mistake-free over the final five holes, Johnson claimed victory in his debut as the No. 1 player in the world.

Johnson’s four-shot lead going to the back nine turned into a one-shot deficit when Spanish rookie Jon Rahm ran off an eagle and two birdies.

Johnson caught him with a birdie on the par-5 15th, and closed with three solid pars for a 3-under 68.

Johnson’s last test on Sunday was from a fairway bunker on the 18th, and he blasted that out to the middle of the green for a two-putt par and a one-shot victory over Tommy Fleetwood of England.

“I didn’t feel like I putted my best, but I really hit the ball well,” Johnson said. “I played just well enough, because I won by one.”

Johnson became the fifth player to win in his first tournament as No. 1 in the world.

His fourth World Golf Championship title is second on the career list behind Tiger Woods, who won 18 times since the series began in 1999.

Asked if he could catch Woods, Johnson smiled.

“He’s got a lot,” Johnson said.

“But yeah, I’m going to try.”

Johnson was steady right to the end to capture his 14th career victory on the PGA Tour, and his second straight. He reached No. 1 in the world two weeks ago with a five-shot victory at Riviera.

Johnson converted only 9-of-17 putts from inside 5 feet. In the opening round, he missed six putts from the 6-foot range or closer. His power and his clean striking allowed him to overcome that.

“It’s a tough spot to be in,” Johnson said. “There’s a lot of pressure on you. I came out and played really well. So to come out and win, it means a lot.”

It took more work at the end than he would have liked and imagined.

What was supposed to be a riveting battle among some of the biggest names in golf turned into a one-man show.

Johnson needed only a 31 on the front nine to dispatch of Justin Thomas, Rory McIlroy, and Phil Mickelson.

“I try to put myself in a position to win every golf tournament,” he said.

“Each week I go out, I’m prepared to win and I want to just give myself a chance to win when I turn to the back nine on Sunday.

He now gets two weeks off before he starts his run to the Masters at the Dell Match Play, the Shell Houston Open and then Augusta National.

Congratulations Dustin on yet another fantastic week!

Johnson on Top of the World

Dustin Johnson went to No. 1 in the world with a world-class performance at Riviera yesterday.

Johnson turned a marathon finish into a Sunday stroll in the Genesis Open. He had a one-shot lead when he arrived Sunday at Riviera, which lost 10 hours the previous three days to fog and torrential rain. He had such command of his game that his longest par putt in the third round was from 4 feet, and he closed with three straight birdies to make the final round in the afternoon more of a coronation. He finished the third round in the morning with a 7-under 64 to build a five-shot lead, stretched it to nine shots at one point in the final round and coasted home to a 71 and a five-shot victory.

“It sounds good,” Johnson said when asked about being the top player in the world. “I played really great all day. I couldn’t have driven it any better. That was a big key.”

Johnson became the 20th player to reach No. 1 since the world ranking began in 1986, ending Jason Day’s 47-week stay at the top.

He won for the fourth time against some of golf’s strongest fields dating to his U.S. Open victory last summer. To state the new world No. 1 was trending towards victory on the historic venue is an extreme understatement given he had six top-10 finishes from his prior nine starts.

The list of Johnson’s top-10 finishes at the Genesis Open now reads: 1st in 2017, 4th/ 2016, T2/ 2015, 2nd/ 2014, T4/ 2012, T3/ 2010, T10/ 2009.

There was no doubt this time though that Johnson was going to claim the title.

“To finally get a win at the Genesis Open feels good because I’ve finished second here a couple times, lost in a playoff, felt like I should have won a couple other times,” Johnson said.

“It’s definitely nice to win on a golf course that I really enjoy playing and a golf tournament I really enjoy playing.”

Johnson went 49 straight holes without a bogey, a streak that ended on No. 9 in the final round, and he was sloppy down the stretch when it no longer mattered.

It capped off a strong stretch that elevated Johnson to the top. Not only was it his fourth victory since June, he has finished among the top three in eight of his last 16 tournaments.

Johnson finished at 17-under 267. About the only disappointment was losing a chance to break the oldest 72-hole scoring record on the PGA TOUR schedule. Lanny Wadkins won at Riviera in 1985 at 20-under 264.

Johnson reached 20 under with his 21st birdie of the week on the par-3 sixth hole. Having made only one bogey all week, he finished with three over the last 10 holes.

“I didn’t finish the last 10 holes the way I’d like to, but I had a pretty good lead. I was on cruise control,” Johnson said.

He still had no complaints. He scooped up his 2-year-old son, Tatum, on the 18th green. Johnson’s fiancee, Paulina Gretzky, announced on Instagram earlier this week they are expecting their second child.

Johnson moves to sixth in the FedExCup with the win and joins Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods as the only players to win at least one time in each of their first 10 seasons on TOUR.

Dustin Johnson voted PGA TOUR Player of the Year

The PGA TOUR announced on Tuesday that Dustin Johnson has been named the 2016 PGA TOUR Player of the Year as voted on by the TOUR’s membership for the 2015-16 season.

PGA TOUR members who played in at least 15 official money events this past season were eligible to vote. The balloting process ended on October 7.

“On behalf of the PGA TOUR, my congratulations to Dustin Johnson for his outstanding play on big stages during the 2015-16 season,” said PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem. “His hard work on the golf course and in the gym paid off with the finest season of his career, and the member vote reflects the respect his peers have for him.”

Johnson, 32, of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, fashioned a career-best three wins during the 2015-16 season at the U.S. Open, World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational and BMW Championship. With his record-breaking victory at the BMW Championship at Crooked Stick Golf Club, Johnson took over the lead in the FedExCup and ultimately finished second to Rory McIlroy in the season-long competition.

In 22 starts, Johnson had a TOUR-best 15 top-10 finishes with 21 made cuts. In addition to his three wins, he posted top-3 finishes at the RBC Canadian Open (T2), Shell Houston Open (third) and the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide (third). Johnson also took home the Byron Nelson Award for Adjusted Scoring Average (69.172) and the Arnold Palmer Award as the TOUR’s leading money-winner ($9,365,185).

“I don’t even know if I ever dreamed this would be happening,” said Johnson, who climbed to a career-high (for the moment) No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking this summer. “Obviously, it was a great season. I worked hard on all parts of my game, and I’m going to continue to do that.”

Johnson has now won at least one PGA TOUR event in nine consecutive seasons dating back to his rookie season in 2008, the longest active streak on TOUR.

Johnson, who will receive the Jack Nicklaus Trophy for winning PGA TOUR Player of the Year, was selected for the honor over Jason Day, Rory McIlroy, Adam Scott, Jordan Spieth and Henrik Stenson.

DJ will start his 2016-’17 season at the WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai later this month, and he said he plans to play in the Tournament of Champions to kick off the new year. Johnson has won both of those events before.

“I’ve got a lot of confidence in the game right now. There’s nothing I don’t feel good with,” said Johnson, who noted improvement with his wedge game was the biggest key to this breakout season. “Hopefully, next year, I can play up to the way I played this year. And hopefully, I can have a better year.”