Dustin Johnson's almost magical hole-in-one!

Doug Mendoza
January 10, 2018

Rahm, 23, finished second at the Tournament of Champions, eight shots behind victor Dustin Johnson, on Sunday, marking his fifth top-seven finish in his last seven starts.

He finished at 24-under 268. Johnson effectively ended the tournament when he made three birdies on the opening six holes, saved par from a front bunker to a back pin on the par-3 eighth, and then birdied the par-5 ninth for a six-shot lead.

"It's no easy task to catch DJ", said Rahm, who lost to Johnson in the final of Match Play a year ago.

The name on the trophy might not be a surprise, but the margin of victory certainly is. "After China, where I struggled a little bit on Sunday, I didn't want to back down", Johnson said. "I know exactly where I want it to come down out of the air, and it did".

In one of the most incredible scenes we've ever witnessed on a golf course, world number one Johnson came just inches from sinking a hole-in-one on a Par four.

"I mean I go back over it and talk about it, but as far as how long has it frustrated me or anything, not long". So, for me, it's just all about pushing forward, and you can't change anything that happened in the past.

It actually would have helped him had he hit it because his drive rolled well past the hole.

Johnson made up for his last PGA Tour event - the HSBC Champions in Shanghai, where he tied the worst kind of record by losing a six-shot lead - by turning the Tournament of Champions into a statement that he has been No 1 in the world the last 11 months for a reason.

Johnson takes two-shot lead

"I could see it until it landed, but I knew it was on a good line", he said.

"Happy with the way I played today". So I knew it was going to be pretty good.

When he lost a three-shot lead by shooting 82 in the final round of the 2010 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach, he was on a boat fishing the next day.

That was reaffirmed Sunday in the Sentry Tournament of Champions when the No. 1 player in the world expunged the memory of his improbable collapse in his last official start-when he relinquished a six-stroke lead at the WGC-HSBC Champions in late October-with a runaway victory that was as much about pride as it was pugilism.

Spain's Rahm carded a 69 in his final round to edge out American Brian Rahman (72) in second, with Japan's Hideki Matsuyama tied for fourth after getting an eagle and two birdies in the last four holes.

Rahm tried to remain close, but the putts that dropped for the Spaniard during a third-round 66 went awry on Sunday. "Obviously I got off to a great start and I want to keep it going", Johnson said of his 2018 opener.

He has the power to bludgeon the best field. "Everything is going in the right direction".

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