Pacific Palisades - Dustin Johnson made the complicated
world golf ranking calculations simple on Sunday, vaulting to number one with a
convincing victory in the Genesis Open.
"I don't really understand it," he said of the
math involved in determining the game's top player "but I can read the
'one-two-three'. I guess that's all that matters."
All week at Riviera Country Club, Johnson shied away from
talk of ending Jason Day's 47-week run atop the rankings - a possibility that
also depended on where Day finished.
"I was coming in here to put myself in a position to
win and I did that - and I played really well," said Johnson, who led by
as many as nine strokes on Sunday en route to a five-shot victory with a
17-under par total of 267.
"If I get to number one winning the golf tournament,
then obviously that's even a bonus."
After a heart-breaking history of near-misses in major
championships, Johnson broke through at the US Open at Oakmont last year. His
victory on Sunday was his fourth since June.
"Obviously winning the US Open in the summer kind of
gave me a little bit of a boost with confidence with my game," he said.
"It was big for me ... to finally win one.
"Today kind of felt a lot like how I was playing this
past summer, finally getting back to where I was, driving it really well."
But the rankings are tight at the top - right down to number
six Jordan Spieth. Rory McIlroy and Henrik Stenson - ranked second and fourth
coming into the week, were absent, but number five Hideki Matsuyama also had a
mathematical chance to topple Day at Riviera only to miss the cut.
"Number one can toss and turn in the coming weeks a lot
of times if the guys keep playing well," Day said.
The Australian also noted that the number one ranking brings
some added pressure, although he thought Johnson had the wherewithal to cope
"I think he's going to do just fine," Day said.
"I think he's won every single year that he's been out here. That's the
formula -- you've got to win as much as you can."
Johnson said he hadn't considered whether becoming number
one could prove a burden.
He'd been too busy celebrating his victory on the 18th green
with two-year-old son Tatum. Days earlier, his fiancée, Paulina Gretzky,
announced on Instagram that the couple are expecting their second child.
"I've only been number one for about 30 minutes,"
Johnson said. "Ask me in a couple of weeks."
Leading final-round scores on Sunday from the weather-disrupted US PGA Tour Genesis Open (USA unless noted):
267 - Dustin Johnson 66-66-64-71
272 - Thomas Pieters (BEL) 70-68-71-63, Scott Brown 68-68-69-67
273 - Justin Rose (ENG) 69-71-65-68, Wesley Bryan 69-69-63-72, Kevin Na 67-69-67-70, Charley Hoffman 68-68-70-67
274 - Martin Laird (SCO) 70-68-70-66, Ollie Schniederjans 68-69-69-68, Cameron Tringale 69-64-71-70
275 - Jimmy Walker 70-70-66-69, Adam Scott (AUS) 68-69-68-70, Noh Seung-Yul (KOR) 71-70-67-67, Bill Haas 71-71-64-69
276 - Charles Howell 70-67-70-69, Jhonattan Vegas (VEN) 67-68-72-69
- K.J. Choi (KOR) 70-70-69-68, J.J. Henry 69-69-70-69, Graham DeLaet
(CAN) 73-68-68-68, Luke Donald (ENG) 68-68-71-70, J.T. Poston
278 - Matt Kuchar 69-68-73-68, Branden Grace (RSA)
67-70-69-72, Jason Kokrak 67-70-72-69, Kang Sung (KOR) 71-70-68-69,
Jordan Spieth 69-68-72-69, Patrick Rodgers 68-67-70-73