Dustin Johnson recaptures World No. 1 with FedEx St. Jude win

Jun 10, 2018; Memphis, TN, USA; Dustin Johnson hits his tee shot on the 9th hole during the final round of the FedEx St. Jude Classic golf tournament at TPC Southwind. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports Christopher Hanewinckel/USA TODAY Sports

Dustin Johnson recaptures World No. 1 with FedEx St. Jude win

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Dustin Johnson recaptures World No. 1 with FedEx St. Jude win

Dustin Johnson already had made his point, leading by four shots on the final hole of the FedEx St. Jude Classic. He was set to reclaim the World No. 1 ranking he lost to Justin Thomas two weeks ago, a big statement entering Shinnecock.

Then he holed out from 171 yards to finish with an eagle 2 and secure his status as the favorite at this week’s U.S. Open in typical DJ fashion.

“What a cool way to end the day,” Johnson said. “Obviously a lot of good things happened this week. I knew coming in this week I was swinging really well and had a lot of confidence in the game.”

Johnson shot 19-under 261 at TPC Southwind in Memphis, Tenn. and earned his 18th career victory in the process. He began the final round tied with Andrew Putnam and shot 4-under 66 to run away with it. Putnam finished six shots behind Johnson and alone in second after a 2-over 72.

Johnson is tied with Tiger Woods for most wins on Tour since 2008 and has racked up nine victories over the past three years alone.

Now would be a good time to mention that Johnson and Woods are paired together for the first two rounds at Shinnecock. Thomas, freshly stripped of his No. 1 status, rounds out one of the most anticipated feature groups in years.

Woods is contending again at age 42, Johnson is clearly in his prime at age 33 and we’ll likely be watching Thomas, 25, continue to add trophies long after his predecessors hang up the spikes.

Consider the fact that those three generational talents are among the favorites to win and it’s easier to believe that we might actually be watching golf’s golden age play out on a weekly basis in 2018.

Johnson’s latest victory was a timely reminder that he’s a huge part of it all, and if he pops up on a leaderboard early in the week he’s probably not going anywhere.

“It was nice to be back in the hunt, to have the lead, to play and get the juices flowing again,” Johnson said. “Feels like it’s been a long time.”

What really separates Johnson from his peers is the growing list of Ruthian feats akin to Sunday’s walk-off eagle.

Just six months ago, Johnson nearly aced the 433-yard par 4 12th hole in the final round of the Sentry Tournament of Champions en route to an eight-shot victory at Kapalua. He also closed out his first major win with a bang, sticking a 6-iron to tap-in range from 191 yards out on the final hole of the 2016 U.S. Open at Oakmont.

It’s probably safe to say Johnson’s A-game is better than anyone else’s on Tour. For so many years that honor belonged to Woods. Thomas has definitely been in the discussion, too, coming off his five-win Player of the Year campaign in 2017.

Now Johnson has momentum on his side, and this star-studded trio is somehow even more compelling as U.S. Open week officially begins. Gwk

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