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Week 07: Dustin Johnson is Top of the Class at the Genesis Open

February 20, 2017


Dustin Johnson went to No. 1 in the world with a world-class performance at Riviera.

Johnson turned a marathon finish into a Sunday stroll in the Genesis Open. He finished the third round in the morning with a 7-under 64 to build a five-shot lead, stretched it to nine shots at one point in the final round and coasted home to a 71 and a five-shot victory.

"It sounds good," Johnson said when asked about being the top player in the world. "I played really great all day. I couldn't have driven it any better. That was a big key."

Johnson became the 20th player to reach No. 1 since the world ranking began in 1986, ending Jason Day's 47-week stay at the top.

"He deserves it because he's been playing great golf," Day said.

Johnson won for the fourth time against some of golf's strongest fields dating to his U.S. Open victory last summer. All he cared about Sunday was winning at Riviera, one of his favorite courses where he has had chances in four of the last five years.

There was no doubt this time.

Johnson had a one-shot lead when he arrived Sunday at Riviera, which lost 10 hours the previous three days to fog and torrential rain. Johnson had such command of his game that his longest par putt in the third round was from 4 feet, and he closed with three straight birdies to make the final round in the afternoon more of a coronation.

Johnson went 49 straight holes without a bogey, a streak that ended on No. 9 in the final round, and he was sloppy down the stretch when it no longer mattered.

It capped off a strong stretch that elevated Johnson to the top. Not only was it his fourth victory since June, he has finished among the top three in eight of his last 16 tournaments.

"No surprise to us players, and I don't think too much surprise to many others," Jordan Spieth said. Spieth ended his streak of 19 consecutive rounds under par on the PGA TOUR -- and 27 rounds worldwide -- with a 72 in the third round.

Johnson finished at 17-under 267. About the only disappointment was losing a chance to break the oldest 72-hole scoring record on the PGA TOUR schedule. Lanny Wadkins won at Riviera in 1985 at 20-under 264.

Johnson reached 20 under with his 21st birdie of the week on the par-3 sixth hole. Having made only one bogey all week, he finished with three over the last 10 holes.

"I didn't finish the last 10 holes the way I'd like to, but I had a pretty good lead. I was on cruise control," Johnson said.

He still had no complaints. He scooped up his 2-year-old son, Tatum, on the 18th green. Johnson's fiancee, Paulina Gretzky, announced on Instagram earlier this week they are expecting their second child.

European Tour- ISPS HANDA World Super 6, Perth

Brett Rumford claimed his sixth European Tour title in emphatic fashion as he beat Phachara Khongwatmai in the final of the inaugural ISPS HANDA World Super 6 Perth.

The European Tour was breaking new ground in Western Australia, with an event consisting of 54 holes of stroke play before a 24-man six-hole match play competition on Sunday.

Rumford was utterly dominant in both, leading after all three days of stroke play - by five shots at 17 under on Saturday night - and then sealing four wins in match play to complete a wonderful turnaround after losing his playing privileges last season.

His 2 and 1 victory over Thai teenager Khongwatmai in the final delighted the home fans, who saw a Perth native lift the trophy at Lake Karrinyup Country Club.

Sunshine Tour- Dimension Data Pro-Am

Paul Lawrie of Scotland became the fourth person to win both the Dimension Data Pro-Am and The Open Championship when he took the 2017 Dimension Data Pro-Am by one stroke on Saturday. Unlike the others, he won The Open first.

He joined Nick Price, Darren Clarke and Louis Oosthuizen as the only players to win both, but he won his major championship back in 1999. He held off the challenge of Justin Hicks of the United States, local player Chris Swanepoel, and England’s Chris Lloyd after rounds on each of the courses at Fancourt Hotel and Golf Estate, and then the final round on Montagu.

Lawrie was bogey-free in his final round of five-under-par 67 after turning in three-under, and, in the end, the other players were unable to take advantage of whatever chances came their way. “I got off to a nice start today and just kept it going,” he said. “But, again, I didn’t make a lot of putts on the back nine. I birdied 10 with about a six-footer and I two-putted the last for birdie. But overall, I’m obviously delighted. I haven’t won in four years, so it’s great to come here and win – especially playing with my son.” Tour- Panama Claro Championship

Andrew Putnam birdied the first hole of sudden death to win the Panama Claro Championship in a playoff over Chris Baker. Putnam, who earned his second career Tour victory, collected a check for $112,500 and moved into the top spot on the money list.

At the end of regulation, the duo was tied at 13-under-par 267 and headed back to the tee on the par-4 18th hole. Both players hit their drives in the fairway, with Baker getting first crack at the second shot. The 30-year-old from Seymour, Indiana hit his approach onto the top tier, where the flag was located, but it rolled down the ledge about 30 feet away.

Putnam’s second was right of the pin, barely made it onto the green and settled 12 feet from the hole. Baker was up first, missed his putt and was left with 2 feet for par. Putnam stepped up and drained the birdie bid for the win.

“I’ve played this hole probably 15 to 20 times in my career so I know what to do,” said Putnam, whose first birdie on 18 this week came in the playoff. “The second shot wasn’t the easiest with the ball below my feet. I told Brando (my caddie) that I felt like it was going to squirt right a little bit. I kind of got lucky that it grabbed part of the green and I made a pretty good putt.”

LATINOAMERICA PGA TOUR- 70th Avianca Colombia Open

Mexico’s José de Jesús “El Camarón” Rodríguez made a clutch eagle putt at the par-five No. 17 to run away with the title of the 70th Avianca Colombia Open on Sunday afternoon. Coming from behind, Rodríguez carded a bogey-free 7-under 64 on the final round to claim the opening event of the 2017 PGA TOUR Latinoamérica season at Club Campestre Guaymaral No. 1.

The 36-year old finished at 15-under 269 for a two-shot win over Colombia’s Nicolás Echavarría, who carded a 67 to secure runner-up honors in his first start as a professional. Another stroke further back, the third spot belonged to Germany’s Max Rottluff, who posted a bogey-free 64 to share the low round of the day with the champion.

Alps Tour- Ein Bay Open

France’s Julien Brun claimed maiden win as pro in Egypt. He signed for 69 final round to win by one shot the Ein Bay Open with -13 total. Compatriots Xavier Poncelet and Alex Daydou are ties for second. Brun had already won a pro event as an amateur in 2012 on Challenge Tour in France.

It has been ages since it was so cold and windy in Sokhna. Rain, wind and clouds were on the menu of the final round in Egypt. The joke of the day was that weather was better in Paris or Milan. Julien Brun had a very good start despite the tough conditions.

He holed for birdie on the first hole and gained two other shot on the par 5 7th and the 9th. Meanwhile in the last group, overnight leader Alex Daydou turned 38 after first nine. He admitted he made some mistakes here and there and did not putt as well as the previous two days. He holed for birdie on the last hole to finish second, a one thousand euro putt.

Asian Development Tour- PGM Panasonic Malaysia Championship

American Brett Munson ended a three-year title drought after closing with a bogey-free five-under-par 67 to seal his second Asian Development Tour (ADT) title at the PGM Panasonic Malaysia Championship on Saturday.

The 30-year-old Munson overturned a three-shot deficit when he fired five birdies to claim a two-shot victory with a winning total of 18-under-par 270 at the Kelab Rahman Putra Malaysia, the same venue where he won his breakthrough ADT title in 2014.

Pro Golf Tour- Open Casa Green Golf

German Tour Rookie Christopher Carstensen is the winner of the 2017 Open Casa Green Golf in Morocco. The 24 year old from Hamburg shot a final round 67 on Friday to complete his tournament with a total 15 under par (66+68+67). This finally gave him a two shot lead over his fellow countryman Patrick Kopp, local hero Ahmed Marjane, Stanislas Gautier from France and Pedro Figueiredo (Portugal) who all shared second place with 13 under par.



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