Dustin Johnson is on a tear
March 27, 2017
By Ben Everill, PGATOUR.COM
Dustin Johnson claims career WGC grand slam at Dell Match PlayIn the final matches of the 2017 World Golf Championships - Dell Technologies Match Play, Dustin Johnson defeats Jon Rahm on the final hole to earn his 5th WGC title and 15th win on the PGA TOUR.
Welcome to the Monday Finish, where Dustin Johnson continued to dominate the golfing world, rolling through his seven matches at Austin Country Club to claim a 15th PGA TOUR win and a career WGC slam. We also salute D.A. Points who finished with a flourish to win in Puerto Rico.
Here’s five observations from the World Golf Championships – Dell Technologies Match Play where Johnson took over the top spot in the FedExCup thanks to a third win this season and the always fun Puerto Rico Open.
1. Dustin Johnson is scary good right now. The way he dismantled his opponents all week – on the back of dominant golf in Los Angeles and Mexico City – shows he is without doubt the best golfer on the planet. Now the leader in the FedExCup, Johnson says he feels he is unbeatable when at his best. And it is hard to argue the point. He has won his last three starts and six of his last 16, including three WGC’s, a FedExCup playoff event and a major in the run. He was - as usual - seemingly unflappable when adversity struck all week in Austin. On a few occasions, he let big leads diminish but found a way to kick into gear once more. The old Dustin Johnson let the wheels fall off often, but in the last few years, this new big time Johnson has emerged. A succinct closer. His more precise wedge game accompanies a brutally good long game and when he makes putts … He really is unbeatable. Until he proves otherwise, he will be the favorite to win everywhere he tees it up.
2. You have to hand it to Dell Technologies Match Play runner up Jon Rahm. He was clearly without his best stuff in the early goings of the final where he missed a number of short putts to hand over holes. It left him sitting 5 down through eight holes. From there, he could have easily succumbed to being on the end of the most lopsided final in history. But the 22-year-old absolutely refused to give in. Getting the match all the way to 18 was an almighty effort. Spain’s newest golfing star failed in his bid to be the third-fastest player to reach the world top 10 since turning professional, but he did not fail to continue to prove it won’t be long before he’s there. The Farmers Insurance Open winner has now finished third and second in his first to WGC starts. He’s moved to fourth in the FedExCup and 14th in the world rankings. Watch this space – he’s going to be in it for a long time.
3. We have been pointing this out a lot lately, but veteran Phil Mickelson keeps trending towards breaking the longest win drought of his career. It seems unfathomable that “Lefty” hasn’t hoisted a trophy since the 2013 Open Championship. Yet, it is indeed fact. Mickelson looked brilliant in Austin until Bill Haas played spoiler in the quarterfinals. He heads to the Shell Houston Open with his competitive juices running high and perhaps in good shape to get his long awaited 43rd PGA TOUR win. With the Masters the following week ,perhaps we have a couple of fairytale moments on the horizon.
4. You might need to get used to the name Hideto Tanihara. The 38-year-old from Japan stunned Jordan Spieth in the opening round and then continued all the way to the semifinals. It was enough to see him push inside the world top 50 and earn a Masters invite. It also has him well and truly in the Presidents Cup mix. While still on the outside looking in at 12th on the International points list, he now has the opportunity in Augusta to go deeper. If he can stay in the top 50, he will see more major starts, and captain Nick Price could indeed have three Japanese players on his team for the first time in Presidents Cup history.
5. D.A. Points was just as excited winning his third PGA TOUR title in Puerto Rico as he was his first in 2011 at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am or even his second at the 2013 Shell Houston Open, which gave him a last-ditch Masters invite. The reason is simple. The last few seasons haven’t been easy for Points. He finished 173rd in the FedExCup in 2014, 171st in 2015 and 184th in 2016 to send him back to the Web.com Tour Finals. He managed to get to 35th on the Finals list, allowing him to get a handful of starts this season, and in his seventh start this year, he made it count. A brilliant start to the final round, with five straight birdies, set him on the path to victory. But it wasn’t all smooth sailing. He stumbled mid-round with three bogeys, but had the fortitude to rebound with four birdies in his last six holes. And his dance when the last putt dropped on 18 was certainly fun to watch.
1. Dustin Johnson played 112 holes in his seven matches and incredibly, never trailed at any stage. After he halved his first hole Wednesday, Johnson then led for his next 71 holes before Swede Alex Noren drew level … for one hole. It is one of the more dominant performances in Match Play history.
2. The Dell Technologies Match Play was Johnson’s third win in consecutive starts on the PGA TOUR, following victories at the Genesis Open and World Golf Championships-Mexico Championship. The last player to win three consecutive starts was Rory McIlroy in 2014 (The Open Championship, World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational, PGA Championship).
3. Johnson becomes the first player to win each of the four World Golf Championships events, with the 2017 Dell Technologies Match Play title completing the "WGC Slam." Johnson’s WGC victories came at the HSBC Champions (2013), the Mexico Championship (2015, 2017) and the Bridgestone Invitational (2016). His five total WGCs is second only to Tiger Woods (18).
4. Johnson, who started his Dell Technologies Match Play career just 2-6 between 2009-2014, is 12-3 since that time including a 7-0 record this week.
5. In Puerto Rico, D.A. Points led the field in Greens in Regulation, hitting 64 of 72 (88.89 percent). On the season, he ranks 15th on TOUR in GIR percentage (72.73 percent). Points was also tied for first in fairways hit, hitting 47 of 56 (83.93 percent). On the season, he ranks 37th on TOUR in driving accuracy (66.12 percent).
TOP THREE VIDEOS
1. When Jason Day walked off early in his opening match he dropped this bombshell. One of the most emotional press conferences you’ll see. Thankfully things are looking up.
Jason Day cites family illness for WD at Dell Match Play
2. You have got to love a good winning reaction.
D.A. Points holes 16-footer for the win at Puerto Rico
3. Hideto Tanihara showed the quickest way to win a hole … with an ace.
Shot of the Day
Hideto Tanihara's killer ace is the Shot of the Day