Dustin Johnson sends ominous warning after eight-shot win at Tournament of Champions

Johnson ensured there was a big gap between first and second in the final round as he posted 64 to win by a dominant 24—under par four-round tally – the biggest of his career.

The effort matched Jordan Spieth’s eight-shot triumph two years ago and was just a shot shy of former Open Champion David Duval’s record setting nine-stroke domination in 1999.

Johnson’s win is his second in the Hawaiian event and his 18th as a professional and a 17th on the PGA Tour.

The South Carolina-born golfer also has now won at least one event a year for the past 11-years of his pro career and in the process made amends in letting slip a seven-shot lead heading to the final round of last October’s WGC – HSBC Champions to hand the victory on a plate to Justin Rose.

“I knew I was playing well coming into this week and I felt really comfortable given as I have been driving the ball really well,”  Johnson said.

“I put the new TaylorMade M4 in the bag last week and I have been driving it really well and I knew as long as I can keep doing that I was going to play well.

“So after China where I struggled on the Sunday, and I don’t want that to ever happen again.

“But then in making the turn this afternoon in 20-under I told myself that I wanted to get it to 25-under so I just kept the pedal down and played really well on the backside, too.”

The 34-year old Johnson went into the last day leading by two shots but quickly distanced himself from his rivals with four birdies in his opening nine holes on the Kapalua course.

Johnson dropped his only shot of the round, and for a second day running, at the par-3 11th hole when he found a greenside bunker with his tee shot.

But then in dramatic manner and also for a second day in succession Johnson holed his second shot at the short par-4 12th hole for an eagle ‘2’.

Johnson then completely stamped his domination over the elite 38-player field with three birdies in succession 14th hole with the pick being the par-4 16th hole where he landed a 141-foot chip shot to five feet and holed the putt.

The average age of all the winners on the PGA Tour in 2017 was 29 years of age with the likes of Brooks Koepka, Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas winning three of the four Majors and each aged under-25.

Now Johnson, and in his very first event of 2018, reminded those under-25-year old rivals he intends to bark the loudest in the ‘Year of the Dog’.

“I am in a good frame of mind heading into this New Year and after getting off to a great start with this victory I just want to keep it going,” he said.

“I still have a lot of work to do as I feel I can improve a lot more with every club in the bag including my iron game that was not as sharp as I would have liked it to be.

“But everything is definitely going in the right direction.”

Spaniard Jon Rahm secured second place with a three-under par 69 for a 16-under par tally.

The effort further boosts Rahm’s place on the European Ryder Cup ‘World’ points table while he should move from No. 4 and back into No. 3 on the World Rankings.

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