Near albatross highlights Dustin Johnson dominance
January 08, 2018
By Ben Everill, PGATOUR.COM
Dustin Johnson nearly holes it from 430 yards at Sentry
KAPALUA, Hawaii – If you haven’t already – do yourself a favor and watch the video above of Dustin Johnson playing the 430-yard par-4 12th hole Sunday on his way to victory at the Sentry Tournament of Champions.
Go on – we will wait. Remember… it’s a par-4.
Johnson’s incredible swipe with the driver off the tee that raced down the hill and scooted on the green at great pace appeared like it might run through the putting surface.
That is if it didn’t hit the pin as it was tracking perfectly for the hole and looking like a rare albatross.
Of course, it would also have been a hole-in-one on a par-4 – a feat not done since Andrew Magee used driver on the 332-yard 17th hole at TPC Scottsdale during the first round of the 2001 Waste Management Phoenix Open.
But almost inexplicably the ball pulled up just six inches short of the hole, likely slowed up by a small sun shower that hit the course just moments earlier.
Johnson knew he hit the ball well, but the green is out of view given the elevation change.
“I could see it until it landed, but I knew it was on a good line. Obviously you have to get a nice bounce. I know exactly where I want it to come down out of the air and it did,” Johnson said.
“So I knew it was going to be pretty good I just didn't think I was going to have a tap-in.”
Incredibly Johnson claims the swing was probably only 90percent – although he admitted it was “flush”.
When on course reporter Jim “Bones” Mackay relayed the news that the ball finished just six inches short Johnson dead-panned that he hit it a little thin.
“I was just joking,” he laughed afterwards. “I hit it perfect.”
The tap in eagle – his second on the weekend on the same hole after his hole out wedge from 72 yards on Saturday – increased his margin to seven shots.
He would eventually win by eight, his second Sentry Tournament of Champions title and 17th overall PGA TOUR win.
RAHMBO REAL DEAL: While Jon Rahm never really contended for the title on Sunday the Spanish sensation continues to climb in the estimation of many. His runner up finish was his fourth on the PGA TOUR and he’s just beginning his second season. The result will push him to third in the world rankings behind only Dustin Johnson and Jordan Spieth. Clearly he is a super talent who could easily add to his lone PGA TOUR win at any moment. “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 of trying to push even higher. “Hopefully I can keep playing good and maybe someday be No.1. If it's not meant to be, it's not meant to be, but it's definitely one of my goals.”
HIDEKI HEATING UP: This time last season Hideki Matsuyama was one of the hottest players in the world having gone on a worldwide win streak. The results weren’t matched at the end of last year however the hangover from the PGA Championship loss to Justin Thomas appears to be well and truly over. His T4 finish is his second top-5 from three events this season and gives optimism going forward. “What I'm going to take from this week is I really hit some quality iron shots all week long,” he said. “I wish I could say the same about my driver and putter. But, again, I'm looking forward to these next two weeks to correct the things that I need to and be ready for my next tournament at Torrey Pines.”
NEW FEDEXCUP LEADER: Dustin Johnson’s win moved him from 25th to second in the FedExCup standings but we still have a new leader in the season long points race. Pat Perez, courtesy of a T4 finish, will now occupy top spot. Patton Kizzire, the leader coming into the event, has dropped to third. Jon Rahm made the biggest move, jumping from 151st to 18th on the list with his runner up finish.
Jordan Spieth – With rounds of 75-66-70-69 the former FedExCup champion finished at 12-under, 12 shots back in ninth place. “Just need some short game and some putting tightening up. Just got to get comfortable with both,” he said.
Justin Thomas – The defending FedExCup champion and event champion finally had a decent round, closing with an eagle for a 6-under 67. It left him at 4-under and T22.
Marc Leishman – The 18 and 36-hole leader bounced back from his third-round collapse (76) with a 6-under 67 to move into a tie for seventh.
Brooks Koepka – The U.S. Open champion finished a distant last, revealing a left wrist injury is still bothering his play.
QUOTABLESI would imagine. I don't know, I can't remember.We’d tie, right?Make a lot more putts, apparently.On this course it's tough, the way the wind was blowing today. He knocks it to a foot on 12 for eagle, and I'm having to lay up to 130 yards.
Low round: 8-under 65 – Winner Dustin Johnson capped off his 17th PGA TOUR victory with another sublime round featuring seven birdies, an eagle and just one bogey.
Longest drive: 430 yards – Dustin Johnson went within six inches, yes inches, of a hole-in-one on the par-4 12th. Incredible.
Longest putt: 41 feet, nine inches – Canadian Adam Hadwin made birdie on the par-4 10th.
Easiest hole: Par-5 5th – At 4.147 with one eagle, 27 birdies and six pars.
Hardest hole: Par-4 1st – At 4.324 it failed to yield a birdie. There were 23 pars and 11 bogeys.
Dustin Johnson dominates the field of winners at Sentry