- Dustin Johnson holds off strong European challenge in Mexico
- Becomes just fifth player to win first tournament as world No. 1
(CNN)Dustin Johnson solidified his status at the top of golf's world rankings, holding off a late challenge at the WGC-Mexico Championship to clinch a second successive PGA Tour victory.
The American, 32, closed with a round of 68 to finish 14-under par, one shot clear of England's Tommy Fleetwood.Follow @cnnsport Johnson only secured top spot from Jason Day two weeks ago, strolling to a five-shot victory at California's Genesis Open. Now he has a fourth WGC title — more than anyone other than Tiger Woods (18) — and becomes just the fifth player in history to win his first tournament as world No. 1.
Great week @WGCMexico! pic.twitter.com/OuHWGr1tVI
— Dustin Johnson (@DJohnsonPGA) March 6, 2017
The only other players to do so are Ian Woosnam, David Duval, Vijay Singh and Adam Scott. Read More"It means a lot because it's a tough spot to be in," said Johnson, alluding to the "pressure" of his new berth. "I played just well enough I guess because I won by one."The game's perennial nearly man is making up for lost time. Without a major win until last year's US Open, Johnson could easily have faltered here after lashing his first drive of the tournament out-of-bounds.Instead, final-round birdies at the eighth and ninth holes gave him a four-shot lead that would be reduced but not relinquished. READ: Tiger Woods, Glory and PainREAD: Tiger Woods reveals the greatest shot he ever hitREAD: What makes Tiger Woods' perfect day? Photos: Golf's world No. 1sDustin Johnson, US – One major win (US Open 2016).Hide Caption 1 of 20 Photos: Golf's world No. 1sJason Day, Australia: 51 weeks at No. 1 – One major win (PGA Championship 2015).Hide Caption 2 of 20 Photos: Golf's world No. 1sJordan Spieth, US: 26 weeks – Two major wins (Masters 2015; US Open 2015).Hide Caption 3 of 20 Photos: Golf's world No. 1sAdam Scott, Australia: 11 weeks – One major win (Masters 2013).Hide Caption 4 of 20 Photos: Golf's world No. 1sRory McIlroy, Northern Ireland: 95 weeks – Four major wins (US Open 2011; British Open 2014; PGA Championship 2012, 2014).Hide Caption 5 of 20 Photos: Golf's world No. 1sLuke Donald, England: 56 weeks – No major wins.Hide Caption 6 of 20 Photos: Golf's world No. 1sMartin Kaymer, Germany: 8 weeks – Two major wins (US Open 2014; PGA Championship 2010).Hide Caption 7 of 20 Photos: Golf's world No. 1sLee Westwood, England: 22 weeks – No major wins.Hide Caption 8 of 20 Photos: Golf's world No. 1sTiger Woods, US: 683 weeks – 14 major wins (Masters 1997, 2001, 2002, 2005; US Open 2000, 2002, 2008; British Open 2000, 2005, 2006; PGA Championship 1999, 2000, 2006, 2007).Hide Caption 9 of 20 Photos: Golf's world No. 1sVijay Singh, Fiji: 32 weeks – Three major wins (Masters 2000; PGA Championship 1998, 2004).Hide Caption 10 of 20 Photos: Golf's world No. 1sDavid Duval, US: 15 weeks – One major win (British Open 2001).Hide Caption 11 of 20 Photos: Golf's world No. 1sErnie Els, South Africa: 9 weeks – Four major wins (US Open 1994, 1997; British Open 2002, 2012).Hide Caption 12 of 20 Photos: Golf's world No. 1sTom Lehman, US: 1 week – One major win (British Open 1996).Hide Caption 13 of 20 Photos: Golf's world No. 1sNick Price, Zimbabwe: 44 weeks – Three major wins (British Open 1994; PGA Championship 1992, 1994).Hide Caption 14 of 20 Photos: Golf's world No. 1sFred Couples, US: 16 weeks – One major win (Masters 1992).Hide Caption 15 of 20 Photos: Golf's world No. 1sIan Woosnam, Wales: 50 weeks – One major win (Masters 1991).Hide Caption 16 of 20 Photos: Golf's world No. 1sNick Faldo, England: 97 weeks – Six major wins (Masters 1989, 1990 and 1996, The Open 1987, 1990 and 1992).Hide Caption 17 of 20 Photos: Golf's world No. 1sGreg Norman, Australia: 331 weeks – Two major wins (The Open 1986 and 1993).Hide Caption 18 of 20 Photos: Golf's world No. 1sSeve Ballesteros, Spain: 61 weeks – Five major wins (Masters 1980 and 1983, The Open 1979, 1984 and 1988).Hide Caption 19 of 20 Photos: Golf's world No. 1sBernhard Langer, Germany: 3 weeks – Two major wins (Masters 1985, 1993).Hide Caption 20 of 20
There was plenty for Denmark's Thomas Bjorn to think about, looking ahead to Team Europe's challenge at the 2018 Ryder Cup.While Johnson held his nerve, taking home $1.6 million for his troubles, the rest of the top five was populated by Europeans.WGC Mexico Championship leaderboard
-14 D Johnson (US); -13 T Fleetwood (Eng); -12 R Fisher (Eng), J Rahm (Spa); -11 T Pieters (Bel), J Thomas (US); -10 B Snedeker (US), P Mickelson (US), R McIlroy (NI)
Halfway leader Rory McIlroy was not among them, carding a final-round 71 to finish four shots back.But both Fleetwood and promising young Spaniard Jon Rahm Rodríguez will be content with their showings, picking up the biggest paydays of their respective careers.
A 40ft putt to move 1 off the lead! pic.twitter.com/ruf6pJvi3L
— The European Tour (@EuropeanTour) March 5, 2017
Fleetwood in particular could barely conceal his delight, even if he did botch his celebrations after sinking a monster 40-foot putt on the eighteenth.Visit cnn.com/golf for more news and videos"That last putt was a big one wasn't it?!" said the 26-year-old. "It was just nice to have a chance going down the stretch and it just shows you're never quite out of it if you just hang in there."Original Article