Johnson slays Genesis Open field, moves to No.1
Dustin Johnson came away with a stunning five-stroke win at the Genesis Open in California on Sunday to leapfrog Irishman Rory McIlroy and in the process claim the world number 1 ranking from Jason Day.
Johnson was forced to play 36 holes on the final day of the weather-interrupted event but blew the field apart with an early morning 64 as his mix of raw power and accuracy gave him another PGA Tour victory for the 10th successive year.
“That’s pretty cool,” Johnson said on the 18th green as the crowd chanted “No.1”
“It was a pretty long day but I played pretty well. It gives me a lot of confidence and is going to push me to work even harder and get even better.”
The US Open champion took the lead in the second round and never relinquished it, ending the weekend 17-under par at Riviera Country Club.
Johnson needed to win and see Day finished lower than a three-way tie for third to top the world rankings. Day could only manage a tie for 64th after finishing two over par.
Johnson ended Day’s reign of 47 consecutive weeks as world No.1. Day has battled injury and not had the start he wanted to the 2017 season. In his four tournaments this year, the 29-year-old Day has finished 12th, 5th and 65th.
“Winning the golf tournament is most important right now,” Johnson said. “I came in here to put myself in a position to win, and I did that and played really well. I wasn’t really thinking about the world ranking…I don’t really understand [the ranking] but I can read the 1-2-3.”
Day seemed resigned to giving up the No. 1 spot he’s held for almost a year.
“He deserves it because he’s been playing great golf,” said Day. “He goes ahead and wins this pretty convincingly. He deserves to get that ranking.”
Johnson turned professional in 2007 and this was his 13th PGA Tour win. He won the US Open last year at Oakmont for his first major title following on from runner up finishes at both the 2011 Open Championship and the 2015 US Open.
Thomas Pieters made a late charge to finish second alongside American Scott Brown with the Belgian’s final-round 63 equalling the best round of the week which took him to 12-under for the tournament.
Adam Scott was the leading Australian in a tie for 11th at 9-under in his first tournament of the year.
Cameron Smith (T28), Cameron Percy (T49) and Jason Day (T64) were the only others to make it through to the weekend.
Marc Leishman carded a five-over 76 to join Greg Chalmers at 1-over to finish a shot outside the even-par cut.
Other Aussies who missed the cut were John Senden at 2-over, Aaron Baddeley 3-over, with Geoff Ogilvy and Steven Bowditch at 4-over with Bowditch’s battles with regaining form continuing.