Dustin Johnson has left little doubt as to who the best player in the field is at this week’s Tour Championship. He’s 18 holes from a title.
Dustin Johnson entered the Tour Championship with a two-shot lead, due to being in first place in the FedEx Cup standings after last week’s BMW Championship. And while that margin gave DJ a clear advantage heading into play at East Lake, he has done nothing to take his foot off the gas all week long.
In Friday’s first round, DJ shot a 3-under par 67 to get to 13-under for the tournament. However, Jon Rahm shot a 65 and actually tied Johnson through 18 holes of play.
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On Saturday, DJ shot an even-par 70, but his nearest competitors faltered and DJ held the lead through 36 holes by one shot over Sungjae Im. While it wasn’t the same type of play that Johnson had shown through the first two playoff events, it will still enough to keep the lead.
Then on Sunday, Johnson flexed his muscle and distanced himself from the field. Not the same way he did two weeks ago when he won by 11 shots at the Northern Trust, but it was still an impressive showing playing in a field that includes 30 of the best players in the world.
Johnson started with two pars before getting his first birdie of the day on the par-4 third hole. He followed that with three more pars to keep his lead through six holes of play.
DJ then rallied to complete his front nine. He birdied the par-4 seventh hole, parred the eighth and birdied the ninth to close his front nine with a 3-under par 32.
He carried that momentum to the back nine with a birdie on the 10th hole to get to 4-under par on his Sunday round. However, he slipped with a bogey on the 11th hole, when his tee shot on the par three found the rough to the right of the hole. He was unable to get up and down and slipped back to 3-under for the day.
However, DJ did not wait long to make up that dropped shot. He birdied the 12th hole and was right back to 4-under. In the process, he built a four-shot lead over the field.
Johnson would also birdie the 14th and 18th holes on his way to a 6-under par 64. With just 18 holes remaining, he has a five-shot lead over Xander Schauffele and Justin Thomas.
Unless DJ takes a major step backwards on Monday, the Tour Championship and the FedEx Cup will be his.