Sentry Tournament of Champions
Left in the dust: Johnson wins by eight for second Kapalua crown
KAPALUA — Dustin Johnson reacted with authority after his only bogey on Sunday in the Sentry Tournament of Champions.
After taking a 4 on the Kapalua Plantation Course’s par-3 11th hole, the world’s top-ranked golfer smacked his drive on the 12th down the left side. The ball tracked to about three inches short of the cup on a hole that officially measured 433 yards.
Johnson tapped in for eagle to push his lead to seven strokes over Jon Rahm, and the final margin was eight — Johnson closed with an 8-under-par 65 for a 24-under total of 268 and his second Kapalua win.
“I could see it until it landed, but I knew it was on a good line,” Johnson said of his second straight eagle on No. 12 — he holed out from 72 yards Saturday.
“Obviously you got to get a nice bounce, but, yeah, I knew it right off the tee,” he said. “I knew I got a good line there. I know exactly where I want it to come down out of the air and it did. So I knew it was going to be pretty good. I just, obviously, didn’t think I was going to have a tap-in.”
It was nearly better still, inches from making Johnson the first player to ace a par-4 on the PGA Tour since Daniel McGee in 2001.
Johnson’s margin of victory was one shy of the Plantation’s tour record — David Duval won by nine in 1999 — and his four-round total was tied for fourth-best in course history.
“I’ve been playing well all week, so I came out today, I didn’t change anything with my game plan,” Johnson said. “I felt like I had a good game plan for the course. And the wind’s blowing in the same direction, so it’s kind of playing similar as it has every day and I knew I just needed to drive it well, that was my big thing.”
Rahm closed with a 69. Brian Harman (72) was third at 15 under, while Hideki Matsuyama (66), Pat Perez (69) and Rickie Fowler (70) were another shot back.
After a par on No. 13, Johnson drove the green again on the par-4 14th — he left his 22-foot eagle putt a foot short, but then converted the first of three straight birdies before closing with back-to-back pars.
Driving the ball was key, said Johnson, who also won in 2013 when inclement weather shortened the event to 54 holes. He was No. 2 in driving distance this week, averaging 296.2 yards.
Johnson squandered a six-stroke lead in his last official event, the HSBC Champions in October, but his prodigious length Sunday, coupled with a deft touch, produced the lowest score of the day in windy, rainy conditions.
“If I drove it well I was going to play good. I did that,” Johnson said. “And even making the turn, I think I made the turn at 20 (under). And I had a pretty good cushion there, but still my goal was I just told myself I wanted to get it to 25. So I didn’t want to let up on the back nine, especially after what had happened in Shanghai. Yeah, I didn’t want that to happen again.”
Johnson finished off his front nine in impressive fashion. His bunker shot on the par-3 eighth started in wet sand about a foot below his feet on the side slope. It landed a foot from the hole for a tap-in par. On the next hole, a par-5, Johnson’s 23-yard third shot landed six feet away and he made the birdie.
Johnson is the third player to win at Kapalua while holding the No. 1 ranking, joining Tiger Woods in 2000 and Spieth in 2016.
Rahm’s round included six birdies and two bogeys.
“It’s no easy task to catch D.J.,” Rahm said.
“When he was 5 under through 11, I think we were all looking forward to finishing in second place. At least that was my battle for the last six holes.”
Harman, who played in the final pairing for the last three rounds, failed to shoot in the 60s for the first time this week.
“I don’t know if I had enough in the tank to catch Dustin or not, but just didn’t have my best stuff today,” Harman said. “I was proud of the way I hung in on the back nine and did my best and just didn’t have it today.”
* Robert Collias is at email@example.com.
Largest Kapalua PGA tour margins of victory
9–David Duval (266), 1999. Runners-up: Billy Mayfair, Mark O’Meara.
8–Ernie Els (261), 2003. Runners-up: K.J. Choi, Rocco Mediate.
8–Jordan Spieth (262), 2016. Runner-up: Patrick Reed.
8–Dustin Johnson (268), 2018. Runner-up: Jon Rahm.
6–Geoff Ogilvy (268), 2009. Runners-up: Anthony Kim, Davis Love III.
Sentry Tournament of Champions
Sunday’s Final Round
At Kapalua Plantation Course
Dustin Johnson (500), $1,260,000, 69-68-66-65–268 -24
Jon Rahm (300), $735,000, 71-70-66-69–276 -16
Brian Harman (190), $461,000, 68-68-69-72–277 -15
Rickie Fowler (115), $296,000, 69-71-68-70–278 -14
Hideki Matsuyama (115), $296,000, 70-70-72-66–278 -14
Pat Perez (115), $296,000, 72-66-71-69–278 -14
Marc Leishman (88), $204,000, 67-69-76-67–279 -13
Jhonattan Vegas (88), $204,000, 68-70-71-70–279 -13
Jordan Spieth (80), $185,000, 75-66-70-69–280 -12
Si Woo Kim (75), $174,000, 69-71-72-69–281 -11
Daniel Berger (63), $148,000, 73-70-68-71–282 -10
Jason Dufner (63), $148,000, 71-68-69-74–282 -10
Billy Horschel (63), $148,000, 70-71-70-71–282 -10
Chris Stroud (63), $148,000, 72-66-72-72–282 -10
Patrick Cantlay (54), $118,000, 70-70-72-71–283 -9
Patton Kizzire (54), $118,000, 72-72-69-70–283 -9
Russell Henley (49), $99,333, 74-69-72-69–284 -8
Kevin Kisner (49), $99,333, 70-70-72-72–284 -8
Cameron Smith (49), $99,333, 75-70-68-71–284 -8
Ryan Armour (45), $89,000, 71-73-70-71–285 -7
Kevin Chappell (43), $85,000, 74-70-70-72–286 -6
Austin Cook (38), $76,750, 74-74-70-70–288 -4
Grayson Murray (38), $76,750, 74-74-69-71–288 -4
Xander Schauffele (38), $76,750, 72-72-70-74–288 -4
Justin Thomas (38), $76,750, 71-75-75-67–288 -4
Bryson DeChambeau (34), $71,000, 73-73-71-72–289 -3
Wesley Bryan (32), $68,000, 74-70-76-70–290 -2
Hudson Swafford (32), $68,000, 72-72-76-70–290 -2
Brendan Steele (30), $65,000, 71-74-74-72–291 -1
Kyle Stanley (28), $64,000, 70-75-73-74–292 E
Jonas Blixt (27), $63,000, 77-71-75-70–293 +1
Adam Hadwin (25), $62,000, 73-75-74-72–294 +2
D.A. Points (24), $61,000, 76-76-74-73–299 +7
Brooks Koepka (22), $60,000, 78-74-78-75–305 +13
Tournament of Champions winners at Kapalua Plantation Course
x-won in playoff