Johnson reclaims world’s top spot with St. Jude win
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Dustin Johnson is back in his spot as the world’s top-ranked golfer thanks to a dominant victory capped by an absolutely amazing hole-out for eagle.
“What a cool way to end the day,” Johnson said.
Johnson shot a 4-under 66 on Sunday making the St. Jude Classic his second PGA Tour victory this year and 18th of his career to take back the No. 1 ranking he held for 64 straight weeks before falling to No. 2 behind Justin Thomas a month ago . Johnson won the event for the second time, finishing with the eagle, three birdies and a bogey for a 19-under 261 total.
“It means a lot,” Johnson said of reclaiming the No. 1 ranking. “It was a long way to get there, and I held it for a long time and obviously JT took it from me for a little while. It was nice to finish like that and get it back.”
Andrew Putnam started the final round with a share of the lead for the first time in his career. He shot 72 and finished at 13 under.
“I feel like I steadied the ship a little bit after a rough start,” said Putnam, who secured his card for the year with his best finish yet.
Preparing for the U.S. Open, Johnson took the lead to himself with a par on No. 1, while Putnam double-bogeyed, and cruised to the $1.18 million winner’s check. Johnson turned in the lowest score under par by a winner here since David Toms at 20 under in 2003 — before the course was redesigned dropping par from 71 to 70 after the 2004 tournament.
Johnson, who won the U.S. Open in 2016, heads to Shinnecock Hills after stringing together four straight rounds in the 60s. He went 67, 63 and 65 before wrapping up a final round that felt almost like a practice round with the only question remaining how low Johnson would go until his final dramatic shot.
Nobody has ever won on the PGA Tour and followed by winning the U.S. Open. The way Johnson’s playing, he sees no reason why he couldn’t be the first.
“I know what it takes,” Johnson said. “I’m going to have to play a lot like I did this week if I want to win next week.”