Johannesburg - Dustin “DJ” Johnson has emphasised his dominance on the golf course and proved why he deserves to be regarded as the world’s best current player.
The 32-year-old American, who is ranked number one globally, bagged his second consecutive World Golf Championships (WGC) title at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play at Austin Country Club in Austin, Texas, last Sunday.
DJ’s victory makes him the first golfer to win all five WGC events and complete a grand slam. But his victories come second behind Tiger Woods, who triumphed 18 times in the contests – a record he set while still at the prime of his golf career, before back injuries and marriage woes derailed his game.
World Golf Championships are regarded as key events, ranking just below the major golf tournaments, with more weight than ordinary PGA or European Tour contests.
Johnson on Sunday fended off a late comeback in the final round from Spanish rookie Jon Rahm, sealing a one-up victory and taking home the $1.6 million (R20.5 million) in prize money.
Four weeks ago, Johnson bagged the WGC-Mexico Championship title at the Club de Golf Chapultepec, where he won by a stroke and pocketed $1.6m. His wins in Mexico and in Austin last week saw him join Woods to become the only other player in history to win back-to-back WGC titles.
The defending US Open champion, Johnson also triumphed at the WGC-HSBC Championship in 2013 and won €1m (R14m); the 2015 WGC-Cadillac Championship on the Blue Monster Course at Trump National Doral Miami, Florida, winning $1.4m; and the 2016 WGC-Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Country Club in Akron, Ohio, winning another $1.6m.
Sunday’s victory capped a great moment for Johnson, who took the challenge by the throat when he birdied four straight holes from the third through the sixth as the frustrated Rahm struggled with the putter.
Johnson’s two latest triumphs follow a victory in the Genesis Open at Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, California, in February, which propelled him to the top spot in the world.