Dustin Johnson Wins WGC-Mexico Championship In Debut As World No. 1 Player
Dustin Johnson’s latest title win did not come without a few struggles.
Dustin Johnson Wins WGC-Mexico Championship in World No. 1 Debut
Through three rounds of the World Golf Championships-Mexico Championship, he struck a ball out of bounds and hit another into a tree, among several setbacks on the highly-elevated course at Club de Golf Chapultepec, which sits at over 7,500 feet above sea level.
The 32-year-old American’s victory in Mexico City on Sunday marked his fourth WGC title win, and his fifth in his past 15 starts on the PGA Tour, including one major.
Johnson closed with a 3-under 68 and finished with an impressive shot. Holding onto a one-shot lead, his feet on the edge of the bunker and the ball below his feet, the World No. 1 hit a three-quarter shot from 127 yards with his 54-degree wedge to the middle of the 18th green for a two-putt par.
“Probably the best shot I hit all week, especially under the circumstances, was that second shot on 18,” Johnson said. “A fantastic shot.”
He finished at 14-under 270. The American finished one shot clear of fast-closing Englishman Tommy Fleetwood (66).
Justin Thomas held a one-shot lead over Johnson, with Rory McIlroy and Phil Mickelson another shot behind.
Thomas then fell behind with a double-bogey in the water on the par-3 seventh. Neither McIlroy nor Mickelson achieved much then. However, it was 22-year-old rookie Jon Rahm of Spain who caught everyone off guard by making an eagle and two birdies in a five-hole stretch on the back nine. Rahm, who had gone 59 holes without a three-putt, took two straight for bogeys that eliminated him from the game in his WGC debut.
“Sometimes you’re going to make some bogeys from those greens, and unfortunately for me, it happened at the end,” Rahm said.
Johnson became the fifth player to win in his first tournament as World No. 1. His fourth WGC title is second on the career list behind Tiger Woods, who has won 18 times since the series began in 1999.
After becoming No. 1 when he won at Riviera in his last start three weeks ago, Johnson also joined an elite group of five others who won in their debut as No. 1 — Greg Norman (1986), Ian Woosnam (1991), David Duval (1999), Vijay Singh (2004) and Adam Scott (2014).
Johnson now takes the next two weeks off before playing the Dell Match Play and the Shell Houston Open ahead of the Masters, where some have already named him the favorite.
PACIFIC PALISADES, CA – FEBRUARY 19: Dustin Johnson plays his shot on the second hole during the final round at the Genesis Open at Riviera Country Club on February 19, 2017 in Pacific Palisades, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)