OAKVILLE, Ont. – Dustin Johnson’s only goal Sunday at the RBC Canadian Open was to play the par fives better.
Mission accomplished, and it resulted in a victory.
Johnson birdied all four of the par fives at Glen Abbey Golf Club en route to a 6-under-par 66, and captured his third event of the season by three shots over Whee Kim and Byeong Hun An.
He retained his spot on top of the FedExCup standings with the victory. It was his 19th-career TOUR win, all since 2008. He topped Tiger Woods’ record of 18 in the last decade, and the significance of his accomplishment wasn’t lost on Johnson.
“Obviously I’m doing something very well,” he said. “To even be mentioned in the same sentence as Tiger means a lot. What he’s done for the game, the things he’s done in the game. No one is ever really going to get to that level.”
Johnson, who was buoyed by Canadian crowd support all week long – a chant of “Let’s Go DJ” broke out as he was walking to the 18th green – and said he felt like an “honorary Canadian.” The fans even sang a rendition of “O Canada,” the country’s national anthem, at Johnson – who grew up in South Carolina and lives in Florida.
“The fans were great. All week there was a ton of support,” said Johnson, who has two second-place finishes at Glen Abbey. “It’s been great and everyone has been great to me up here.”
Johnson said every win is “sweet” but confirmed it’s been more fun to find the winner’s circle since becoming a father.
“To be able to share it with my family is definitely important and definitely means a lot more,” he said. “I talked to Paulina a little while ago and they were watching from home. So it’s always cool to hear that your little man’s watching you on TV.”
There was a weather delay of one hour, 46 minutes on Sunday, but Johnson wasn’t fazed. He made four birdies on the back nine after the delay, and pulled away after playing partner An made a bogey on the par-4 10th.
He spoke about how it was important to hold the led on the FedExCup standings going into The TOUR Championship, and said anytime he could build a lead in the standings, it’s a positive.
“Obviously right now I’m in a very good position,” he explained. “I’m going to have to continue to play well though if I want to be in that number one spot heading into Atlanta for the Tour Championship.”
Claude Harmon III, Johnson’s coach, said his pupil worked hard on his putting early in the week after two frustrating days on the greens.
“He works so hard on and off the golf course and he put in the work this week, and got it done,” Harmon said.
Johnson said it was important to get off to a good start. He birdied his first two holes and continued to play well.
“If I could get ahead, I feel like I could play well and keep myself in the lead for the rest of the day, which I did,” he said.
Johnson led the field in Driving Distance and was co-leader this week in Greens in Regulation. It was that combination that ended up putting him on top.
“He feels good on a golf course like this, with so many wedged in his hand. He can make birdies with his wedge game,” Harmon said. “And when he plays like this, he’s one of those guys who are tough to beat.”