DJ lays down ominous marker with eight-shot win in Hawaii

Golf News

World No. 1 Dustin Johnson opened up his 2018 season by demolishing his closest rivals while for every Rickie Fowler untucked shirt there is a Pat Perez pair of trousers

So what happened at the Tournament of Champions?

On Saturday night they whispered about China where Dustin Johnson lost a six-shot lead. Come Sunday night in Hawaii Johnson turned his two-shot lead into a whopping eight-shot annihilation of his peers.

Jon Rahm, who becomes the fourth youngest male to reach No. 3 in the world behind Tiger Woods, Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy, was the next best with Brian Harman in third. The left-hander, out in the final group, put no pressure on his playing partner covering the first eight holes in two over.

Hideki Matsuyama played his last seven holes in five under to take fourth.

This is Johnson’s fifth win since February and he did it with his best round of the week, an eight under 65 which saw him pick up four birdies on the front nine to keep them all at bay before an eagle (see Best Shot) and a hat-trick of birdies coming home.

And it immediately keeps his run going of having won for the past 11 PGA Tour seasons, a streak which has seen him up to 5th in the all-time career earnings list (see Dialled In for more on that).

Best Quote

“I hit it a little thin” – Johnson, describing his near-albatross after driving the 420-yard 12th hole.

Talking Point

His last working week came at the FedEx St. Jude Classic last June on Phil Mickelson’s bag. Next week Jim ‘Bones’ Mackay will be back caddying and for no less than Justin Thomas.

Thomas’ regular bag man Jimmy Johnson has plantar fasciitis (a foot problem) so he won’t be at the Sony Open for his man’s defence. Johnson lasted two rounds – he is expected to be out for a month and was in walking boots this week – at Kapalua so Thomas’ dad Mike took over but he was happy to step aside.

“My legs are tired. I’m glad to. I’m dragging butt,” said Thomas Sr, who last caddied for his son at the 2016 QBE Shootout. “It’s always nice to be able to do that with your son, though.”

As for Mackay he has been filling his time working as an on-course reporter for NBC/Golf Channel and he, like everyone, is a big fan of the PGA champion.

“I think the world of Justin and I’m looking forward to working with him,” Mackay said.

Jim "Bones" Mackay

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Best Dressed

This might win Best Dressed for 2018 so it would seem a little churlish to omit it given it caught more headlines than anything else that happened on Saturday.

The look paid homage to Fowler’s Japanese heritage fusing it (that’s fashion talk) with the local Hawaiian style.

And. get this, it was untucked. Not something many of the PGA Tour’s finest could get away with but this was Rickie.

Rickie Fowler

Worst Dressed

New year, new Pat. This is solely based on Perez’s trousers which are something Jeff Maggert wouldn’t have been seen dead in in 1996. Part of me (quite a big part) enjoys the fact that the American clearly couldn’t give a monkey’s about his appearance but then you wonder why a multi-millionaire is turning out like this. The days of billowing, uncut slacks have long gone.

Pat Perez

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