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Recap: Dustin Johnson holds on for WGC victory

The new and improved version of Dustin Johnson has his first victory. Johnson, who returned last month from a six-month break from PGA Tour golf, proved he’s back in full force with a victory at the WGC-Cadillac Championship at Trump National Doral. It was the ninth victory of his career.

Johnson closed a final-round 3-under 69 with a par at No. 18, then walked to the scoring tent with new baby Tatum in his arms and fiance Paulina Gretzky trailing close behind.

“It means everything,” Johnson said of the victory. “It’s been a tough road but a really good one, obviously a lot of really good things came out of it. It just feels awesome to get that W. I played really great today.”

Johnson finished at 9-under 279, one ahead of J.B. Holmes, who was going for a wire-to-wire victory. A final-round 75 sunk Holmes’ hopes.

Bubba Watson, who won the last WGC event in China last fall, also held the lead for a portion of the afternoon on Sunday. Watson made inopportune bogeys at Nos. 11, 12 and 14.

“I knew I was really good, I just knew there was something that I was missing that could make me great,” Johnson said Sunday. “I’ve really been working hard on that and it’s showing right now.”

Scroll through our tracker to see the play-by-play for the final round of the WGC-Cadillac Championship, and be sure to scroll all the way down to see coverage from the entire week:

• • •

Update No. 30, 6:54 p.m.:

J.B. Holmes missed his birdie try and Dustin Johnson knocked in his par for the victory, his first since returning from a six-month break from competitive golf.

• • •

Update No. 29, 6:47 p.m.:

Easy par at No. 18 for Bubba Watson. He finished at 7 under, which wasn’t quite enough to catch Dustin Johnson. Now, it’s J.B. Holmes’ turn to try.

• • •

Update No. 28, 6:40 p.m.:

Dustin Johnson needed to hit the fairway at No. 18, and he did. He launched a drive more than 300 yards, and just needs to protect his one-shot cushion on J.B. Holmes. Bubba Watson is ahead on the green with a birdie opportunity, but he is two shots back.

• • •

Update No. 27, 6:27 p.m.:

J.B. Holmes birdied the 16th to get to 8 under, but Dustin Johnson just hit the perfect tee shot at No. 17. With play like that, Johnson will be hard to catch.

In the group ahead, Bubba Watson just rolled a birdie putt by the hole and will take a par. The 18th is not considered a birdie hole, so Watson is unlikely to make up any more ground. At 7 under, he is two behind.

• • •

Update No. 26, 6:09 p.m.:

Advantage: Dustin Johnson. He just made a 14-footer for birdie at No. 15 to take a two-shot lead on Bubba Watson, who is running out of steam, and J.B. Holmes, who never found his stride today.

• • •

Update No. 25, 5:56 p.m.:

Two more bogeys, at Nos. 12 and 14, have pushed Bubba Watson out of a share of the lead. He is down to 7 under, and trails Dustin Johnson and J.B. Holmes by one shot. Watson is one shot ahead of those two players, too.

• • •

Update No. 24, 5:34 p.m.:

Rory McIlroy won’t be remembered for much this week but his famous club toss, but he still chipped in for double bogey at No. 18.

In case you missed the latest club-toss news from today, Donald Trump had the iron fished out of the pond and returned to McIlroy. Read about that here.

• • •

Update No. 23, 5:25 p.m.:

And then there were three players tied for the WGC-Cadillac Championship lead (at 8 under). Bubba Watson is leaking oil and Dustin Johnson has hit his rhythm, which means the most impressive player in that threesome could be J.B. Holmes. Nothing has gone right for him today.

• • •

Update No. 22, 5:16 p.m.:

A brilliant par save at No. 11 leave Dustin Johnson within a shot of Bubba Watson’s lead. It’s just a shame these two long hitters aren’t playing in the same group today while they’re battling for the title – would be excellent theater.

• • •

Update No. 21, 5:07 p.m.:

Bubba Watson made his first bogey of the day at the par-4 11th, then promptly drove his golf ball in the left rough at No. 12. J.B. Holmes and – more alarmingly for Watson – Dustin Johnson are now only one shot behind.

• • •

Update No. 20, 4:52 p.m.:

Dustin Johnson rolls in a birdie at No. 10, his third of the day, to reach 8 under. He’s now tied with J.B. Holmes for second, two shots behind Bubba Watson. Johnson has missed two cuts in the four events he’s played since returning from a six-month break at the Farmers Insurance Open, but he also lost in a playoff at the Northern Trust Open and tied for fourth at Pebble Beach.

• • •

Update No. 19, 4:37 p.m.:

Bubba Watson recovered well from his tee shot into a bunker, laid up in the fairway and just aimed an iron right at the hole. He looks calm despite having the lead.

Ryan Moore is paired with Watson today in the next-to-last group, but has dropped out of the final-round conversation. He is 1 over today and six shots back.

• • •

Update No. 18, 4:30 p.m.:

Dustin Johnson recovered from a bogey at No. 7 with birdie at No. 8. It moved him to 7 under, three off Bubba Watson’s lead.

Meanwhile, at the 10th, Watson took a conservative line with his driver and found a fairway bunker. He hasn’t had much success off the tee at that hole all week.

• • •

Update No. 17, 4:19 p.m.:

Adam Scott, with birdies at Nos. 9 and 10, is now within four shots of Bubba Watson. J.B. Holmes has stopped leaking oil but isn’t gaining ground either. He remains at 8 under while Scott has improved to 6 under.

• • •

Update No. 16, 4:05 p.m.:

Bubba Watson is pressing down his foot on the gas. He rolled in a 12-footer for birdie at No. 7 to get to 10 under, which gives him a two-shot advantage on J.B. Holmes. As Holmes sinks, other players are nipping at his heels, too. Dustin Johnson is 1 under today and at 7 under, only one behind Holmes. Adam Scott is 6 under.

• • •

Update No. 15, 3:54 p.m.:

For the first time since Thursday, J.B. Holmes does not have even a share of the lead. Holmes missed a 16-footer for par at No. 6 to drop to 8 under. Bubba Watson, a hole ahead, is now the solo leader. Note that Holmes is 3 over today.

• • •

Update No. 14, 3:41 p.m.:

After finding the rough off the tee then a bunker near the green, J.B. Holmes bogeyed No. 5. Bubba Watson made par at No. 6 and now the two players are tied for the lead.

• • •

Update No. 13, 3:26 p.m.:

Bubba Watson found the rough at No. 6 and J.B. Holmes drove in it at No. 5. They’re still battling at the top of the leaderboard, and Dustin Johnson is gaining. He made birdie at the par-3 fourth.

• • •

Update No. 12, 3:21 p.m.:

Bubba Watson just slid in a birdie putt of just inside 10 feet at No. 4. That moves him to within a shot of leader J.B. Holmes. Watson is 3 under through his first four holes, but Holmes is moving the opposite direction. He is 1 over after his first three holes.

• • •

Update No. 11, 3:17 p.m.:

Hideki Matsuyama has four birdies on the back nine at Doral, but none better than the one he made at the 13th. Matsuyama holed out from a greenside bunker for that one. Watch the video:

• • •

Update No. 10, 3 p.m.:

The biggest mover on Sunday morning had been Rickie Fowler – that is, until he bogeyed Nos. 8 and 9. That took him from 4 under back to 2 under.

• • •

Update No. 9: 2:52 p.m.:

Both J.B. Holmes and Dustin Johnson had short third shots into the green at the par-5 first, but both were unable to capitalize. Holmes just missed his mid-range bid for birdie while Johnson missed a 6-footer for birdie.

Rickie Fowler is on a roll today, playing the first seven in holes in 4 under to reach that same mark for the event. But he found trouble on the par-5 eighth, having to take a drop and eventually making bogey. Fowler’s 3 under for the week.

• • •

Update No. 8: 2:42 p.m.:

Bubba Watson took command of second place after making a birdie on No. 1. He’s at 7 under, one shot ahead of Dustin Johnson and Ryan Moore, who also birdie No. 1.

• • •

Update No. 7: 2:37 p.m.:

Can Dustin Johnson gain redemption for his disappointment at Riviera? Can J.B. Holmes close for a WGC win?

We’ll find out soon enough, as Holmes and Johnson teed off at No. 1 and their final rounds are underway.

The hole-out trend continues Sunday at Doral, with Geoff Ogilvy joining the party at 11. Ogilvy carded a 75 today.

• • •

Update No. 6: 2:30 p.m.:

Henrik Stenson made the most of the par-5 first, hitting a 6-footer for birdie to move to 5 under. The final group is set to tee off at 2:35 eastern.

• • •

Update No. 5: 2:16 p.m.:

Few golfers can manipulate the ball like Phil Mickelson. He proved that again at the par-5 eighth. Mickelson went on to make par and is 2 under on the day and 1 over for the event:

• • •

Update No. 4: 2:10 p.m.:

Several golfers have already finished up for the day, including Luke Donald (73), Zach Johnson (73) and Ian Poulter (72), who are tied at 7 over.

Here’s Poulter’s thoughts on his round of even par:

• • •

Update No. 3: 2:05 p.m.:

Rory McIlroy has the chance to play with 14 clubs today, thanks to Donald Trump, who returned the world No. 1’s chucked 3-iron.

Avoiding the unlucky number of 13 clubs may have helped McIlroy, but he’s still at even par through two holes and 1 under for the event.

• • •

Update No. 2: 1:40 p.m.:

Rickie Fowler got off to a smooth start, making a 4-foot birdie putt at the par-5 first hole. The birdie moved Fowler under par at into a tie for 12th.

• • •

Update No. 1: 12:50 p.m.:

J.B. Holmes, the 54-hole leader at 11 under, is set to tee off alongside Dustin Johnson at 2:35 p.m.

Two aces and plenty of hole-outs highlighted the third round of the WGC-Cadillac Championship. Here’s a recap:

• • •

Saturday

Johnson, Holmes ace fourth at Doral

Dustin Johnson and J.B. Holmes both mades holes-in-one at the fourth hole during the WGC-Cadillac’s third round.

Dramatics define WGC-Cadillac’s third round

The third round of the WGC-Cadillac was defined by highs and lows.

Bunker hole-out propels Oosthuizen at WGC-Cadillac

Louis Oosthuizen played his way into the discussion at the WGC-Cadillac Championship on Saturday.

Marcel Siem does ‘a Rory,’ throws club into lake at Trump Doral

Marcel Siem followed Rory McIlroy’s lead by throwing his own 3-iron into the lake at Doral.

McIlroy’s club throw, like others: Bad etiquette, but good laughs

Rory McIlroy is not the first golfer to let his club loose.

• • •

Friday

McIlroy throws club into lake at WGC-Cadillac

Rory McIlroy let his frustration out after hitting his ball into the water by chucking his 3-iron into the water as well.

Blue Monster’s first hole bites back at WGC-Cadillac

The par-5 first hole at Trump National Doral’s Blue Monster punished the PGA Tour players who attempted to reach the green in two at the WGC-Cadillac Championship.

Recap: Holmes keeps lead at WGC-Cadillac

J.B. Holmes shot 1-over 73, but kept his lead at the WGC-Cadillac Championship while Rory McIlroy fired a 70 – and threw a club in the water – Friday at Trump National Doral.

Adam Scott shows no sign of rust at WGC-Cadillac

With a short putter in hand, Adam Scott shot a 68 and moved within three shots of the lead at Doral.

• • •

Thursday

10 reasons why Round 1 at Blue Monster should please Donald Trump

J.B. Holmes might have shot a 10-under 62, but the rest of the field was hammered by the Blue Monster on Thursday in the first round of the WGC-Cadillac Championship.

J.B. Holmes tames Blue Monster with impressive 10-under 62; leads by four

J.B. Holmes shot a 10-under 62 on Thursday at the WGC-Cadillac Championship, 11 shots better than the field scoring average.

Long hitters Gary Woodland, Brooks Koepka owe strong WGC-Cadillac start to deft touch

Both Brooks Koepka and Gary Woodland, two of the first players who would be asked to join in the Home Run Derby, owe their solid starts at the WGC-Cadillac Championship to precision, not power; to deft touch, not brute strength.

Rory McIlroy points to his lack of rhythm, tentativeness after 73 at Doral

Rory McIlroy, a week removed from missing Honda Classic cut, opens WGC-Cadillac Championship with 1-over 73 after a first-nine, 4-over 40.

• • •

Wednesday

Lipsky brings well-worn passport, keen short game to Tour

American David Lipsky played two PGA Tour events in Asia last fall, but he is set to make his debut on home soil at the Cadillac Championship this week.

McIlroy’s outlook for Augusta, career Grand Slam: ‘Great position to be in’

It may not be Masters week, but World No. 1 Rory McIlroy is already getting asked questions about the year’s first major and his quest to complete the career grand slam.

Woodland turns to McLean for road map back among Tour’s elite

Gary Woodland may be one of the best-prepared golfers to step onto the first tee at the WGC-Cadillac Championship Thursday thanks to his new golf instructor Jim McLean.

At Doral, Lahiri carries the torch for Indian golf

Anirban Lahiri, the 35th-ranked player in the world, hails from India and has rocketed into relevancy with victories at the Maybank Malaysian Open and his national open, the Hero Indian Open.

Arnold Palmer remains honorary starter for 2015 Masters

Arnold Palmer will make his annual appearance on the first tee at Augusta National in April as honorary starter for the 79th Masters.

Presidents Cup rosters: Where do Woods, Mickelson, Bae fit?

U.S. and International Presidents Cup rosters are still up in the air as the 2015 matches in Incheon, South Korea approach.

PHOTOS: Golf equipment at WGC-Cadillac Championship

Equipment photo gallery from the range at PGA Tour’s 2015 WGC-Cadillac Championship.

Haas, Price add to staffs for Presidents Cup

Presidents Cup captains Jay Haas (U.S.) and Nick Price (International) announced additional assistant captains Wednesday before the PGA Tour’s WGC-Cadillac Championship at Trump Doral.

Harrington: Asian Tour win in December boosted confidence

Honda Classic champion Padraig Harrington credits a recent boost in confidence to his victory on the Asian Tour last December.

• • •

Tuesday

Scott makes 2015 PGA Tour debut in season of change

Adam Scott is making his 2015 PGA Tour debut this week at the WGC-Cadillac Championship, and he could play his first competition as a father with a conventional putter at Trump National Doral.

Tiger falls to 75th in world ranking, behind rookie Berger

Tiger Woods has tumbled 43 spots in the Official World Golf Ranking since the first of the year, the biggest drop among those in the top 100.

DraftKings Fantasy Tip Sheet: WGC-Cadillac Championship

The first World Golf Championships event will take place at Trump National Doral with Rory McIlroy and the rest of the top 50 players in the world in the field for the the WGC-Cadillac Championship.

Van Tonder a curiosity factor at WGC-Cadillac Championship

Danie van Tonder, a 24-year-old South African who finished second on the Sunshine Tour’s Order of Merit last season, is making his U.S. debut this week at Trump National Doral.

WGC-Cadillac Championship field, by the rankings

Here is the look at the field for this week’s WGC-Cadillac Championship along with each player’s ranking in the Official World Golf Ranking and Golfweek/Sagarin Pro Rankings.

Hahn withdraws from WGC-Cadillac after birth of first child

James Hahn withdrew from the WGC-Cadillac Championship at Trump National Doral after the birth of his first child on Sunday.

Hadley’s name misspelled on Puerto Rico Open locker

Chesson Hadley is the defending champion of the Puerto Rico Open, but that didn’t keep someone for misspelling his name on his locker at Trump International Golf Club in Rio Grande.

• • •

Monday

Woods’ accuser retracts claims after agent, Tour speak out

Tiger Woods’ agent and the PGA Tour denied allegations made Friday by former touring pro Dan Olsen that Woods has been suspended for a month by the Tour because of a failed drug test. Shortly after each party issued its statement, Olsen retracted his original report.

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