'Honorary Canadian' Johnson rolls to victory at RBC Canadian Open
Johnson captured his third win of the season by three shots on Sunday at Glen Abbey
July 29, 2018
By Adam Stanley, PGATOUR.COM
Dustin Johnson wins by three at RBC Canadian
OAKVILLE, Ont. – Dustin Johnson’s only goal Sunday at the RBC Canadian Open was to play the par 5s better.
Mission accomplished, and it resulted in a victory.
Johnson birdied all four of the par fives at Glen Abbey Golf Club en route to a 6-under-par 66, and captured his third event of the season by three shots over Whee Kim and Byeong Hun An.
He retained his spot on top of the FedExCup standings with the victory. It was his 19th-career TOUR win, all since 2008. He topped Tiger Woods’ record of 18 in the last decade, and the significance of his accomplishment wasn’t lost on Johnson.
“Obviously I’m doing something very well,” he said. “To even be mentioned in the same sentence as Tiger means a lot. What he’s done for the game, the things he’s done in the game. No one is ever really going to get to that level.”
Johnson, who was buoyed by Canadian crowd support all week long – a chant of “Let’s Go DJ” broke out as he was walking to the 18th green – and said he felt like an “honorary Canadian.” The fans even sang a rendition of “O Canada,” the country’s national anthem, at Johnson – who grew up in South Carolina and lives in Florida.
“The fans were great. All week there was a ton of support,” said Johnson, who has two second-place finishes at Glen Abbey. “It’s been great and everyone has been great to me up here.”
Johnson said every win is “sweet” but confirmed it’s been more fun to find the winner’s circle since becoming a father.
“To be able to share it with my family is definitely important and definitely means a lot more,” he said. “I talked to Paulina a little while ago and they were watching from home. So it's always cool to hear that your little man's watching you on TV.”
There was a weather delay of one hour, 46 minutes on Sunday, but Johnson wasn’t fazed. He made four birdies on the back nine after the delay, and pulled away after playing partner An made a bogey on the par-4 10th.
He spoke about how it was important to hold the led on the FedExCup standings going into The TOUR Championship, and said anytime he could build a lead in the standings, it’s a positive.
“Obviously right now I'm in a very good position,” he explained. “I'm going to have to continue to play well though if I want to be in that number one spot heading into Atlanta for the Tour Championship.”
Claude Harmon III, Johnson’s coach, said his pupil worked hard on his putting early in the week after two frustrating days on the greens.
“He works so hard on and off the golf course and he put in the work this week, and got it done,” Harmon said.
Johnson said it was important to get off to a good start. He birdied his first two holes and continued to play well.
“If I could get ahead, I feel like I could play well and keep myself in the lead for the rest of the day, which I did,” he said.
Johnson led the field in Driving Distance and was co-leader this week in Greens in Regulation. It was that combination that ended up putting him on top.
“He feels good on a golf course like this, with so many wedged in his hand. He can make birdies with his wedge game,” Harmon said. “And when he plays like this, he’s one of those guys who are tough to beat.”
Dustin Johnson's news conference after winning RBC Canadian
Brandt Snedeker admitted Sunday his season has been disappointing, but he was happy with his result at Glen Abbey.
The 2013 Canadian Open champion finished tied for eighth, just his third top-10 of the season. However, he hasn’t finished outside the top-25 at any Canadian Open hosted at Glen Abbey.
“The golf course I love,” said Snedeker, who shot a 5-under-par 67 on Sunday. “This golf course really sets up well to my eye. It comes at a good time on the schedule, too. I played really well.”
Snedeker said he isn’t used to being in this position on the FedExCup, but said he had “no excuses” for his play this year.
“I just haven’t played particularly well, through all phases of the game,” he said. “I had a good week and hopefully found something I can continue to work on the next few weeks.”
Mackenzie Hughes captured the Rivermead Cup for the second year in a row, finishing as the low Canadian professional at the Canadian Open.
Hughes shot a 4-under-par 68 Sunday to finish at 15-under. His tie for eighth was his first top-10 finish of the season after he missed his first eight cuts in a row. Hughes was getting adjusted to being a father for the first time earlier in the year, and now he feels his life off the course is settled.
On the course he went “back to basics” and things have turned around for Hughes – who grew up about 30 minutes from Glen Abbey – as he’s made his last four cuts.
Next year’s Canadian Open will be played in Hughes’ hometown of Hamilton.
“You feel just a slight additional pressure put on you. But I relish it,” Hughes said. “It's been a great week (and) forward to just building on it next week.”
Hughes is 152nd on the FedExCup standings and will play both the Barracuda Championship and the Wyndham Championship to try to improve his standing.
George Cunningham felt like he belonged on the PGA TOUR this week, and he’s going to take that confidence into the rest of the Mackenzie Tour-PGA TOUR season.
Cunningham, who sits third on the Mackenzie Tour money list, got an exemption into this week’s Canadian Open – his first TOUR event. He shot a 1-under-par 71 Sunday to move into a tie for 29th. He won the GolfBC Championship earlier in the year on the Mackenzie Tour, and with five tournaments left, he’s $13,000 behind the No.1 spot on the money list.
He said he’s got a huge confidence boost moving into the balance of the season.
“I was just super excited how it all finished up,” Cunningham said. “Confidence-wise I’ll take that to (the Mackenzie Tour), knowing I can play (on the PGA TOUR). Obviously (the PGA TOUR) is the ultimate goal but I need to focus on what’s in front of me.”
SHOT OF THE DAY
Shot of the Day
Byeong Hun An's near ace for Shot of the Day
CALL OF THE DAY
He moved up 31 spots in the FedExCup standings after shooting a 3-under-par 69 Sunday and finish tied for second, tied for his best-ever PGA TOUR finish.
Byeong Hun An
Playing with Dustin Johnson, An shot a 3-under-par 69 to notch a tie for second, his second such result this season. He moved to 36th on the FedExCup standings.
Improved nine shots from Saturday to Sunday. Birdied his final three holes of the day to shoot an 8-under-par 64.
Ancer shot a 5-under-par 67 Sunday to move into fifth place alone, just three weeks removed from his best finish of the year: a T4 at the Quicken Loans National. He also moved to 79th on the FedExCup standings.
Dahmen shot a 3-under-par 69 Sunday to finish tied for eighth, his third top-10 in his last four tournaments.
Fired a 5-under-par 67 to move into a tie for sixth, his fifth top-10 on the PGA TOUR this year.
The Canadian amateur shot a 3-under-par 69 Sunday to finish at 9-under and tied for 45th.
Seeing the number one in the world playing golf is quite exciting, and he's pretty good.Having a lot of ties to Canada with Paulina, her dad, Wayne, who, thanks to him, I get a lot of fans out here, so it makes it a lot more fun playing out here in front of a big crowd.It was quite the experience.I feel like I belong out here.
Low Round: 8-under-par 64 from Keegan Bradley, who moved into a solo fourth.
Longest Drive: 386 yards by Tony Finau on the par-5 18th, en route to birdie
Longest Putt: 56 feet, 1 inch by Harold Varner III on the par-3 12th.
Easiest Hole (tie): The par-5 13th and the par-5 2nd both averaged 4.500 strokes on Sunday.