Dustin Johnson concluded one of the best seasons of his career with a victory at the TOUR Championship this weekend, taking home the FedEx Cup for the first time. His final -21 score was only 2 off the course record set by Tiger Woods in 2003. Johnson remains number one in the world as the PGA Tour season wraps up and the major tournaments approach, having been rescheduled from earlier this year.
Johnson shot a 68 on Monday, pulling away from the rest of the 30-player field after another weekend of strong play. After struggling off the tee on Saturday, his ability to scramble for pars and even birdies set him up for a great final two days of the tournament. He then was able to pick up right where he left off at the BMW Championship and make birdies after finding the fairway more frequently. He finished first in average driving distance and top 5 in greens in regulation for the weekend, demonstrating strong performances in both driver and iron play.
What might be the most remarkable aspect of Johnson’s victory is at this time last year, Johnson was undergoing surgery to repair cartilage in his left knee. He fell out of the world top 10 ranking and did not have a top-10 finish in eight starts, the longest drought of his career. It is amazing to see how far he has come in the past year and there is no telling how much more success is going to come his way.
John Rahm, who entered the tournament in second place, had a strong outing in the final two days but could never recover after a disastrous four-over round on Saturday. He maintains his world number two ranking. The $5 million second-place prize went to Justin Thomas and Xander Schauffele, who both finished three strokes behind at -18.
The Tour now turns to the Safeway Open, the first tournament of the 2020-2021 season. Then, U.S. Open will take place in the following week at Winged Foot Golf Club, the second major tournament of the rescheduled season. The Safeway should be a great tune-up for all the players as they head to a very difficult course for one of the most prestigious tournaments in golf. Although the coronavirus has shaken up the PGA Tour season and pushed many of the tournaments back to the concluding months of this year, it is providing us with great golf throughout the fall and into the new year as play hopefully resumes as normal in 2021.