Dustin Johnson sounds strong reminder to younger world No1 rivals

Johnson, 33 is just two weeks shy of being golf’s top-ranked player for 12 months when he defends his Genesis Open title in LA on February 15th. 

It was on the famed Riviera course last year Johnson went to World No1 and winning the first of three events in succession to clearly cement himself as the world’s best.

The American is currently the equal eighth longest World No1 since the rankings commenced in April 1986.  

He is presently tied with Welshman Ian Woosnam.

Johnson will tie Australia’s Jason Day on Sunday night at 51 weeks should World No2 Jon Rahm not capture this week’s Phoenix Open, and this after the Spaniard stumbled to achieve that goal in ending well down in his defence of last week’s Farmers Insurance Open.

“Well, it’s very important to be being World No.1 and I really like being No. 1 in the world,” said Johnson.

“For me, it’s a huge motivator to continue to do what I’m doing, continue to work hard in the gym, to continue to work hard on my golf game, and for me a bonus is it proves that what I’m doing and the way that I’m doing things is working.

“So, it just keeps on motivating me to keep doing the same, keep working harder.

“But in saying that, there’s a lot of really good young players out there such as Justin (Thomas) and Jordan (Spieth), Jon Rahm and each very, very talented players, young players.

“They’re younger than I am but not by too much.  They are very, very good and they’re going to be good for a long time. They have all the skills it takes to be a very good golfer. They’re definitely guys that are going to contend a lot.

“They’re definitely my biggest competition.”

And ‘DJ’, and not a golfer who you sit down with for a long fireside chat, had plenty to say following Tiger Woods successful return to competition last week at Torrey Pines.

“I had played a round with Tiger right around Thanksgiving and we played with President Trump along with Brad Faxon and it was first time I had really seen him since the Farmers, so that was about 10 months prior to that,” said Johnson.

“He’s swinging completely different. He looked healthy. He was swinging with some speed compared to what I saw at Farmers where you could tell he just wasn’t feeling that great, he wasn’t swinging very good and he wasn’t swinging with any kind of speed.

“So, it was good to see him playing and hitting the ball well again, actually hitting it with some force and getting the ball out there. He looked like he did when he was playing really well.

“It’s really good for the game of golf to have him out here. 

“It’s good for me, it’s good for everybody. The more attention we get to the game of golf, which he obviously brings a lot of attention, so it’s good for everyone and I hope he plays well and I hope to see him coming down the stretch in contention soon on Sundays.”

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