Dustin Johnson started out the FedEx Cup in the lead and left everyone in the dust as he remained efficiently dominant all four days of the FedEx Cup, securing the whopping $15 million reward.
Dustin Johnson has been extraordinary all season and just won his first Tour Championship. The 23-time PGA Tour winner went into the Tour Championship first in the FedEx Cup standings, starting out on day one with a stacked 10-under par.
Johnson never looked back, surging forward three out of the four days of the tournament at East Lake Golf. Ending the final day with a par on hole 18, his overall score of 21-under par resulted in both the Tour Championship and (perhaps more impressive) the $15 million paycheck that made golf financial history. He also ends the season as the undisputed No. 1 world golfer (per Official World Golf Ranking).
It has been the season of Dustin Johnson.
This year’s Northern Trust champion, the 36-year-old Johnson never squandered his lead at the Tour Championship, shooting a 68 on day one, adding seven more birdies (plus only one bogey) to secure a six-under on the second day, played it safe with at even par on “moving day,” and kept his nerve on Monday to shoot the 67 that maintained three shots above the field.
Two bogeys for Dustin Johnson at the back end of the front nine — on holes eight and nine — gave two players the opening to nip at his heels, Xander Schauffele and Justin Thomas, who at one point in the back nine, moved within two of striking distance. But three fearless birdies on the 12th, 13th and 15th made the 2016 U.S. Open champion’s lead definitive and left too large a margin for Schauffele and Thomas to make up.
With the $15 million payday at East Lake — equaling Rory McIlroy’s cut last year, the first time the prize money was inflated to that zenith amount — Dustin Johnson is now the third-highest earning golfer, behind Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson. That ought to make Johnson and his fiancée, Paulina Gretsky (yep, Wayne Gretsky’s daughter) fairly pleased.
“It’s a very tough trophy to win,” Johnson said afterwards, according to ESPN. “I controlled my own destiny, but I still had to go out and play well. I had a lot of great players right behind me. It got close at the end. I knew it was going to come down the stretch and I’d have to hit some golf shots.”
Despite some swipes at Dustin Johnson recently by Brooks Koepka, the Tour champion secured a win at the Northern Trust and two incredible Top 2 finishes this season, including the playoff at the PGA Championship that he lost to rising star Colin Morikawa, and the loss to John Rahm at BMW. In four straight tournaments, Johnson has been among the best of the field. Now he closes out a stunning PGA season as the undisputed best.
The new PGA season gets underway this week, with the Safeway Open in just a few days (beginning Sept. 10). Hold onto your golf caps, because we also have a major coming up in just two weeks with the U.S. Open on Sept. 17.