News & Opinion

Dustin Johnson shows PGA Tour who's really No. 1

Dustin Johnson wins 2020 Northern Trust
Dustin Johnson cruises to victory in the FedEx Cup playoff opener, the Northern Trust, on Sunday at TPC Boston.

With 30-under winning score at Northern Trust, Johnson moves to top of world ranking, FedEx Cup standings and just about anybody’s list of players to beat in season’s final 2 events

Dustin Johnson left no doubt as to who is No. 1 in golf, whether it be the world ranking, the FedEx Cup or certainly at the PGA Tour’s Northern Trust.

Johnson shot 8-under 63 on Sunday at TPC Boston to win the opener of the FedEx Cup playoffs by a whopping 11 strokes. He finished at a career-low 30-under 254. With the victory, the 22nd of his career, he was projected to move from fourth to No. 1 in the Official World Golf Ranking. He also vaulted to the top spot in the FedEx Cup standings entering this week’s second of three events, the BMW Championship at Olympia Fields (Ill.) Country Club (field).

Harris English, who was paired with Johnson in the final round, shot 69 to finish second at 19-under 265. On just about any other Sunday, that number would merit some hardware at the end of the day. Last week at TPC Boston, though, Johnson was in a tournament of his own (scores).

After he shot 11-under 60 in the second round, during which he stood 11 under through 11 holes and seemed headed for something in the 50s before making par on the final seven holes, Johnson left little doubt about the outcome. He shaved 15 more strokes from par in the weekend rounds to post the first double-digit margin of victory on the PGA Tour in a decade.

Afterward, in an interview on CBS Sports, he called his ball-striking “awesome.”

The stats back it up. Johnson ranked first in strokes gained total, strokes gained tee to green and strokes gained approach the green. He hit 90 percent of greens. He was so good, in fact, that he made more eagles (five) than bogeys (three) for the week.

Since the season restart in early June, Johnson, 36, has won twice, including the Travelers Championship eight weeks ago. In his previous outing, two weeks before TPC Boston, he tied for second at the PGA Championship after holding a one-stroke lead after 54 holes.

Now, he enters the 70-man BMW as the man to beat. From there, the top 30 in the season standings will advance to Atlanta for the Tour Championship, with the season champion earning a $15 million bonus from the $60 million pool.

“I’ve got a lot of confidence in the golf swing right now,” Johnson said, “so I’m really looking forward to these next couple of weeks.”

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