Dustin Johnson replaces Jason Day as world number one with LA win
- Author: Julie Sanders Feb 20, 2017,
Feb 20, 2017, 22:19
How long will Dustin Johnson be world No.1?
He has had only one round at Riviera over 72 (a freakish 79 in Round 1 last year).
Spieth, victor of last week's AT&T Pebble Beach ProAm, said: "To feel like we actually have a chance to win this tournament is nice, so hopefully go out tomorrow, finish it off strong, and take it into the weekend". If he can find birdies at both of his final two holes when players return to the course on Saturday morning, he can tie the lead early on the weekend (something he has been quite familiar with over the course of his young career). He finished at four under.
The men who play the PGA Tour do some remarkable things. Abbotsford's Nick Taylor (73) was 55th at 1-under.
Venezuelan Jhonattan Vegas trailed by three shots along with Americans Patrick Rodgers and J.T. Poston, with former world number one Luke Donald of England among a group another stroke back.
Jordan Spieth, coming off a four-stroke victory at Pebble Beach, stood five shots behind Johnson after two rounds but lost ground on Sunday. "I couldn't go 14 under on nine holes". "I got the putter working", he said.
Asked what meant more to him - winning the tournament or becoming the new number one - Johnson replied: "Winning the golf tournament is most important right now".
England's Justin Rose, despite battling an injured left thumb, continued his impressive start to 2017 shooting a last round 68 and share fourth place for a second time in four events, and after the Gold Medal winning golfer was runner-up in his first event of the year in Hawaii.
Johnson hardly played his best stuff during a level par 71 in the final round but it was enough to see off Thomas Pieters and Scott Brown by five shots as he ended the Aussie's run of 47 weeks at the summit of the Official World Golf Ranking.
Johnson, whose six top-10 finishes at Riviera include a playoff loss two years ago, could supplant Jason Day atop the world rankings if he can break through for a first win at the classic course west of Los Angeles.
"I've only been No. 1 for about 30 minutes", Johnson said. "The few times that I got out of position I was able to save pars, hit some good pitches, got up and down from the bunker on 10 - all in all it was a pretty solid day".
"I don't really understand it but I can read the 1, 2, 3".
Johnson is the 20th player to hold top spot since the inception of the rankings in 1986.
Thomson finished on in a tie for 64th on six-over, a shot ahead of Dryburgh in joint-66th. He was at 5 under and in a tie for 11th. As the last 8 months have proven though, it's time to expand the highest echelon of the sport's elite players and make room for a Big 4.
"Another birdie", he said as he walked off the green, paying homage to a 313-yard hole that bedevils him. He turned professional in 2007 and has already totaled 15 tournament wins to his credit by the age of 32.
Johnson, conforming to the intellectually compromised stereotype that clings to him, claimed not to comprehend the formula that determines the world rankings.
Perez said his shoulder pain started to return in Phoenix, but he has shortened his swing and expects no trouble over as many as 36 holes Sunday.