A near ace and a big win for Dustin Johnson at Kapalua

Dustin Johnson

In a field that featured the top five players in the world, Johnson made a strong opening statement that the No. 1 ranking he has held for almost a year might be hard to take away.

He drove two par 4s on the back nine, and came within 6 inches of a hole-in-one on the 434-yard 12th hole. He also drove the par-4 14th hole.

He finished at 24-under 268.

Quote of the day: "I hit it a little thin". "I was really driving it well this week".

"Obviously if I keep playing good, keep working, keep learning about myself, I just need to keep getting better scores without my A game like I have this week", Rahm said after his round.

Not surprisingly, Johnson believes he is close to the form he wielded early a year ago when he won three straight starts and took over World No. 1 leading into the Masters.

Johnson has built his career on lethal power and precision with the driver, and it was on full display at the 12th hole at Kapalua.


Dustin Johnson underlined his status as the best player in the world as he coasted to a dominant eight-shot victory at the Sentry Tournament of Champions.

Johnson made up for his last PGA Tour event - the HSBC Champions in Shanghai, where he tied the worst kind of record by losing a six-shot lead - by turning the Tournament of Champions into a statement that he has been No 1 in the world the last 11 months for a reason. That's the longest streak on the Tour, an achievement that very, very almost took a back seat to the longest hole-in-one in PGA history.

This one wasn't even close.

The win was especially satisfying after his final-round collapse at the HSBC Champions in Shanghai in October, when Johnson led by six through three rounds but stumbled to a closing 77 to finish tied for second behind Justin Rose. The lithe SC slugger hadn't thought of the collapse until the media reminded him of it on Saturday as he staked himself to a two-stroke lead over Brian Harman. Johnson doesn't let much cross his mind. "Whether I win or lose".

Matsuyama played his last seven holes in five-under par with the aid of an eagle on the par-five 15th, where he landed his approach shot 10 feet from the pin. Standing on the tee of the 433-yard 12th hole, he blasted a drive that almost went in for an ace and instead rolled up to within inches for a tap-in eagle.

Round of the day: Johnson wasted little time in putting the trophy out of reach, with birdies on four of his first nine holes. It's a blind shot over the hill, with a strong wind at his back, so he never saw the ball race down the hill, onto the green and head straight to the cup until stopping 6 inches away. After dropping his lone shot on No. 11, he played his next five holes in 5 under en route to an 8-under 65.

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