Week 09: Dustin Johnson Wins First Event as World Number 1
March 06, 2017
World Golf Championship- Mexico
Dustin Johnson did not flinch when a challenge arrived out of nowhere Sunday, playing mistake-free over the final five holes to win the Mexico Championship in his debut as the No. 1 player in the world.
Johnson's four-shot lead going to the back nine turned into a one-shot deficit when Spanish rookie Jon Rahm ran off an eagle and two birdies at Chapultepec Golf Club. Johnson caught him with a birdie on the par-5 15th, and closed with three solid pars for a 3-under 68.
Rahm had gone 59 holes without a three-putt until taking two in a row at the worst time to fall back.
Johnson's last test was from a fairway bunker on the 18th, and he blasted that out to the middle of the green for a two-putt par and a one-shot victory over Tommy Fleetwood of England.
"I didn't feel like I putted my best, but I really hit the ball well," Johnson said. "I played just well enough, because I won by one."
Johnson became the fifth player to win in his first tournament as No. 1 in the world. His fourth World Golf Championship title is second on the career list behind Tiger Woods, who won 18 times since the series began in 1999.
Sunshine Tour/ European Tour- Tshwane Open
In his three opening holes on Sunday, Dean Burmester made sure no-one else was going to win the Tshwane Open. And he carded a six-under-par 65 at Pretoria Country Club as he marched to a commanding three-stroke victory in the tournament co-sanctioned by the Sunshine Tour and the European Tour.
He made three consecutive birdies to start his final round, and three more from the sixth to the ninth to turn in 29 and take the wind out of his pursuers’ sails. Finland’s Mikko Korhonen and Spaniard Jorge Campillo shared second, with American Peter Uihlein in fourth.
“I didn’t think I’d wrapped it up with those three birdies in the first three holes,” said Burmester afterwards, “but it turned out to be that way. Those three birdies calmed my nerves.”
The birdie on the first hole was probably the one which flipped the switch that turned the Burmester machine on. He hadn’t made birdie on the first all week, and had bogeyed it twice, and he suggested after the third round it was the most difficult hole on the bourse.
But when he rolled in a 45-footer for birdie, the game was over for everyone else. “I sank probably the best putt I hit all week on one,” he said, “and I was actually quite nervous when I was standing over it. When I saw the line it was on and the speed, I knew it was in when it was two metres from the hole.
“And then it just kind of snowballed. I birdied two, and before I knew it, I’d birdied three in a row. It was a lovely start.”
After the turn, he kept pushing, despite having a lead that was looking increasingly impregnable, and he made his seventh birdie on the 11th. But then came a bogey. “I’ve been in similar positions in the past,” said Burmester of his tactic to continue pressing, “and I’ve backed off a little bit. I could have made it a lot closer than I should have. The great players in the world tend to win by 10.”
He made birdie on 12 to rectify the little slip, one more on 14, before bogeys on 16 and 17 saw his winning margin trimmed. “My only goal was to hit good shots,” he said. “The more I hit, the more birdie putts I’d have, and the less stress I’d have. I probably shouldn’t have gone at the flag on 11, but other than that, I think I played a pretty good round.”
It was his seventh victory on the Sunshine Tour, but his first on the European Tour. “There are no words to describe the feelings I have,” said Burmester. “I’m obviously elated and I’m looking forward to a full season on the European Tour.”
ISPS Handa PGA Tour Australasia- Lawnmaster Horizon Golf NZ PGA Championship
Jarryd Felton won the Lawnmaster Horizon Golf NZ PGA Championship in a thrilling playoff against Victorian Josh Younger and New Zealand’s Ben Campbell.
Felton, Campbell and Younger all finished 14-under 270 at the end of four rounds of stroke play to force a trip to the 18th tee for a playoff.
The West Australian drove wide from the tee but was able to quickly rally and make birdie to seal the win.
“I didn’t hit too good of a tee shot, I think I got pretty lucky actually. I capitalized and made the putt, I don’t think the Kiwi fans were too happy,” laughed Felton.
“I came in to the week not feeling so confident but the more rounds I played around this course I started to grow in confidence and to win is a great feeling.”
Pro Golf Tour- Open Madaef
On the first extra-hole of the playoff Marco Iten from Switzerland secured himself the first trophy of his career as a professional. On the very challenging course of the Pullman El Jadida Royal Golf & Spa in El Jadida/Morocco the 26-year-old prevailed against German Maximilian Laier in the playoff. After 54 holes both players were ranked even as they had played 4 strokes over par.