Dustin Johnson Triumphs at Riviera to Supplant Jason Day as World Number One
Post by Sports Writer Derek Clements
GOLF has a new world No 1. Dustin Johnson cruised to victory in the weather-affected Genesis Open at Riviera Country Club in Los Angeles and it was good enough to supplant Jason Day at the peak of the world rankings.
Johnson produced a display of golf that was worthy of the Hollywood setting, hitting a succession of huge drives and rifling iron shot after iron shot to within 10 feet of the hole before draining birdie putts as if he were shelling peas.
On the form he showed over four difficult days, it is hard to argue with the US Open champion's new-found status. He may not be there terribly long, however, with Hideki Matsuyama and Jordan Spieth in fine form and Rory McIlroy with a point to prove upon his return from injury. All threeof those players, as well as Day, will believe they can do enough to take the number one spot from Johnson. We could be in for a fascinating season.
At one stage in the final round, Johnson led the field by eight shots. He followed a flawless 64 in the morning with a couple of early birdies and moved to 20 under par, and on course to break the tournament record. In the event, he lost concentration. He dropped a shot at the ninth and two more went on the back nine as he closed out the tournament with a final round of 71 and 72-hole total of 267. Before his bogey at the ninth, Johnson played 49 holes without dropping a shot.
It was a good day for European golf. Thomas Pieters, of Belgium, shot a brilliant final round of 63 to share second place with Scott Brown, of the USA, while Justin Rose was a shot further back after a closing 68.
Afterwards, Johnson admitted that it had been difficult to keep playing attacking golf. "I knew that I was a long way ahead out there," he said. "It just kind of became hard to keep concentrating and playing the way I had been, but my game was always in control. It is great to get another win and it's kind of cool to be world No 1."
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