Johnson turns quick start into Canadian Open win

Tuesday, 31 July 2018 00:07 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


Ontario (Reuters): World number one Dustin Johnson broke free from the leading pack with birdies on his opening two holes and stayed out front the rest of the way to capture the Canadian Open and his third PGA Tour title of the season on Sunday.

After two runners-up finishes, Johnson finally snatched the Canadian crown with a workmanlike final round of six-under 66 that left the big-hitting American three shots clear of Kim Whee and An Byeong-hun

The South Koreans both birdied the final hole for matching 69s to share second on 20-under-par.

Keegan Bradley made a rousing final round rally, carding the round of the day with an error free eight-under 64 to finish alone in third a further shot back.

“Obviously, I have a lot of fans out there thanks to Wayne and the family, and I appreciate all the support,” said Johnson, who is married to Canadian hockey great Wayne Gretzky’s daughter Paulina.

“With my ties to Canada, Paulina and her dad being Wayne Gretzky, I definitely get a lot of fans that pull for Wayne, pull for me.

“It definitely helped. The fans are great. I definitely feel like an honorary Canadian.”

Coming off his first missed cut of the year last week at the British Open, Johnson rebounded in some style to clinch his 19th career title with a winning tally of 23-under 265.

Johnson became the first player since Tiger Woods in 2009 to win three or more times in three consecutive years.

There was a logjam at the top of the leaderboard at the start of the final round with Johnson, An, Kim and Kevin Tway all sitting on 17-under and holding a four-shot advantage over the chasing pack.

Johnson’s experience provided the early edge as he wasted no time breaking free with birdies at one and two, while the three co-leaders, who were all chasing their first PGA Tour titles, picked up early bogeys.

“It was definitely good to get off to a fast start,” said Johnson.

“I birdied the first and had a really good look at eagle on the second. It’s definitely good, especially when the leaderboard is so bunched up.