Well it’s over, albeit a day late and 18 holes short, but Dustin Johnson won the golf first tournament of the year by four strokes over defending champion Steve Stricker. The Hyundai Tournament of Champions was delayed three days due to inclement weather (see: ridiculous wind gusts) and had to be shortened to 54 holes, ultimately ending a day late. This is the seventh PGA Tour victory of Johnson’s career. This win also made Johnson the first player since Tiger Woods to record a victory in each of his first six years after leaving college.
It was no easy task for Johnson to hold onto his three shot, 36 hole lead going into Tuesday, but he managed to come out on top. After a double bogey on the par four 13th, the three shot lead he brought to the opening tee was down to one. He responded strongly, however, with an eagle on the very next hole.
While the weather has certainly been the talk of the week, a win on the PGA Tour is never easy to come by. You have to imagine that Johnson had visions of his epic collapse in last year’s U.S. Open at Pebble Beach running through his head as he watched his lead dwindle to a single stroke. In that tournament, he went from having a three shot lead on the final day of the U.S. Open to being three shots back in the matter of three holes. He had to be hoping that history wouldn’t repeat itself after his horrendous double on the thirteenth today. Being able to respond as he did today shows a great deal about the mental toughness that Johnson brings to the course.
Everyone wants to come out of the gates fast to start the season. Playing well is a definite plus, but being able to pull out a victory in a delayed, shortened tournament has got to give DJ a big boost heading into the rest of the season.