Dustin Johnson put forth one of the most dominant performances of his career as he earned his 17th tour win with an eight-shot shot victory at the Sentry Tournament of Champions.
Johnson used his prodigious length to take advantage of the Plantation Course’s short par-4s and reachable par-5s en route to a -24 total.
No shot exemplified Johnson’s superior length than Johnson tee shot on the par-4 12th hole. The hole was playing downwind and is downhill, but Johnson’s nearly hole-out his drive and was left with just a few inches for eagle.
Johnson is the No. 1 player in the world, but there is constant argument as to who is the most unbeatable player when they are on their “A” game. Much like he did in the early parts of 2017, Johnson makes the game look so easy when he is clicking on all cylinders. His drives can decimate even the longest courses and his ability to play a controlled cut off the tee allows him to hit tight fairways.
– Johnson really eliminated all drama with his dominance on the weekend. He took the lead with a hole-out eagle on 14 during the third round and never looked back.
– Some of the Tour’s big names had strong weeks to start out their calendar year, but there was no matching Johnson’s firepower.
– Jordan Spieth, Hideki Matsuyama, and Rickie Fowler all tallied top-10 finished, while Jon Rahm was Johnson’s closest for much of the final round as the Spaniard finished second. Fowler also made headlines by wearing an untucked Hawaiian shirt in the first round.
– Justin Thomas could never get anything going at Kapalua and finished at -4. He carded a 67 Sunday to move up the leaderboard and finish T-22. Thomas will defend his title at the Sony this week.
– One of the most puzzling results from the tournament was Brooks Koepka. Koepka, who has a game that mirrors Johnson, would figure to contend at a course like Kapalua, but that was hardly the case. The reigning U.S. Open champion was terrible all week and finished at +13, which left him last place by six shots. A lingering wrist injury is likely to blame for Koepka’s poor play.
– It is a testament to the quality of the Plantation Course that Dustin Johnson and Brian Harman were in the final group. Johnson may be the longest driver on tour, while Harman is one of the shortest. Although Johnson’s length was an advantage, Harman was able to find a way to score. Being short off the tee is not a disqualifier from contending at the Plantation Course like it is at some tracks.
– The difference in length was comical at times and nothing illustrated that fact more than the shotlink graphic from 14 Sunday.
This somehow actually came true pic.twitter.com/KMfsrcDRKu
— No Laying Up (@NoLayingUp) January 8, 2018
– Johnson became the second player in tour history to win in his next start after blowing a lead of six or more strokes. Hal Sutton accomplished that same feat 1983.
– That blown lead came in China over the fall when Johnson blew a six-shot lead in the final round as Justin Rose took the title. Johnson has had plenty of heartbreak in his career and has bounced back every time. His nonchalant attitude is a tremendous asset in moving on in those situations.
– The only shaky moment for Johnson came when he mishit his tee shot on the par-3 8th. He faced a tricky bunker shot with a tough stance, but managed to hit a remarkable recovery shot and make the short putt to save par.
– Johnson joins Tiger Woods in 2000 and Jordan Spieth from 2016 as the only No. 1 players to win at Kapalua.
-The win was Johnson’s second at Kapalua as he also took the title in 2013.
– Johnson has now won at least one tournament in each of the last 11 years.
– The eight-shot margin of victory was tied for the second largest margin of victory in tournament history. David Duval’s nine-shot win in 1999 is the tournament record.
– With 17 wins, Johnson joins the likes of Jim Furyk and Curtis Strange on the all-time wins list at the age of 33.
Shot(s) of the Week:
Both of the shots of the week came from Dustin Johnson at the 14th hole. The first was his hole-out for eagle on Saturday and the second was the aforementioned drive Sunday.
Wait for it, wait for it, wait for it …
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) January 6, 2018
“Plenty of horsepower here.”
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) January 8, 2018
Otter Room Picks
The Otter Room started out 2018 hot. Johnson was out pick to win before the tournament and our dark house pick Pat Perez finished T-4.