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!