Saturday, March 24, 2018

Dustin Johnson cruises at PGA's Genesis Open, moves to world No. 1

LOS ANGELES — Dustin Johnson went to No. 1 in the world with a world-class performance at Riviera.

Johnson turned a marathon finish into a Sunday stroll in the Genesis Open. He finished the third round in the morning with 7-under 64 to build a five-shot lead, stretched it to nine shots at one point in the final round and coasted home to 71 and 17-under 267 for a five-shot victory.

"It sounds good," Johnson said when asked about being the top player in the world. "I played really great all day. I couldn't have driven it any better. That was a big key."

Johnson became the 20th player to reach No. 1 since the world rankings began in 1986, ending Jason Day's 47-week stay.

"He deserves it because he's been playing great golf," Day said.

Johnson won for the fourth time dating to his U.S. Open victory last summer. All he cared about Sunday was winning at Riviera, one of his favorite courses where he has had chances in four of the past five years to win the PGA Tour event.

Johnson had a one-shot lead when he arrived Sunday at Riviera, which lost 10 hours the previous three days to fog and torrential rain. Johnson had such command of his game that his longest par putt in the third round was from 4 feet, and he closed with three straight birdies to make the final round in the afternoon more of a coronation.

Johnson went 49 straight holes without bogey, a streak that ended on No. 9 in the final round. He was sloppy down the stretch when it no longer mattered.

Johnson has finished among the top three in eight of his past 16 tournaments.

"No surprise to us players, and I don't think too much surprise to many others," Jordan Spieth said.

CHAMPIONS: Fred Couples won the Chubb Classic for his 12th seniors title and first since 2014, rallying to beat Spain's Miguel Angel Jimenez in Naples. Couples shot bogey-free 5-under 67 to finish at 16-under 200, three strokes ahead of second-round leader Jimenez. Jimenez, a stroke ahead of playing partners Couples and Kevin Sutherland entering the round, shot 71 and bogeyed the par-4 18th.

LPGA: Ha Na Jang had eagle and three birdies over her last six holes to earn a three-shot victory at the Australian Open in Adelaide. "It's a really good, strong finish. That is why it's good sport today," she said after closing with 4-under 69 to finish at 10-under 288. Nanna Madsen finished with par 73 for 7-under 285. Lizette Salas started the day with a two-stroke lead but closed with 5-over 78 to fade into a share of seventh at 5 under with six others.