July 29, 2018
Oakville, Ontario, Canada
World Number One Dustin Johnson finally avenged his previous Glen Abbey Golf Club demons by shooting a final round 66 to win his first RBC Canadian Open by three strokes. After two runner-up finishes and a tie for fifth last year, the American golf superstar was able to utilize his long driving distance and efficient putting to finally hoist Canada’s national championship.
“It definitely means a lot,” said Johnson after the round. “Signing with RBC this year, and coming up here to the RBC Canadian Open and winning, especially on a golf course where I’ve had success, it means a lot. I feel like an honorary Canadian today!”
Similar to his third round, Johnson got off to a fast start in the final round, birdieing the opening two holes. He would go two under over the nine holes before inclement weather swept over Glen Abbey, delaying play for almost two hours.
But the length of delay did not bother Johnson one bit. After a brilliant approach shot to the green on the valley 11th hole, he would end up draining the putt to extend his lead. Despite Keegan Bradley’s late final round charge that got him to 19-under par or Whee Kim constantly in the mix on the Back 9, there would be no one stopping Johnson, who would go on to birdie the final two par-5’s to seal the tournament, etching himself into Canadian Open history. For the week, Johnson was fourth in driving distance (322.8 yards), sixth in driving accuracy (37 of 56), tied for first in greens in regulation and first in total strokes gained, critical in getting his first Canadian Open victory.
Disappointing Open Championship Motivated Dustin Johnson
While exuding a consistently even-tempered persona on the golf course, Johnson had an inner, burning desire to prove to the golfing world that he was still the best. Last week at the Open Championship in Carnoustie, Dustin missed his first cut of the year, casting doubt on whether his game was in a good place.
“I wasn’t focused last week, stated Dustin. “Even after the missed cut last week, I felt like I was hitting it fine, I just did not score very well at Carnoustie at all. I didn’t putt good. I just scored really badly. But I hit the ball plenty good enough to be under par after two days, and I was 5-over or something. It was just bad scoring.”
With having four rounds in the 60’s at Glen Abbey, Johnson proved the doubters wrong once again, securing his 19th PGA Tour victory and his third of 2018. This win sets up the American perfectly for the rest of the season, with the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone and PGA Championship in the next two weeks and the FedEx Cup Playoffs. Dustin has a firm grasp of the number one ranking in the FedEx Cup standings, giving him the best chances to compete for the FedEx Cup in East Lake this September.
“I started rolling the putter a lot better here this week. I ended up doing everything really well”
Dustin Johnson Endeared with Canadian Crowd
All throughout the week, Johnson’s play was superb. But it was his popularity amongst a pro-Canadian crowd which was even more impressive, demonstrating that Dustin’s golf persona extends far beyond the borders of America. Arriving earlier this week at Glen Abbey, it was clear that this victory has a special meaning for the American, who has a few personal Canadian ties. Johnson’s wife is Paulina Gretzky, daughter of Canadian hockey superstar Wayne Gretzky. Considered to be the greatest hockey player to ever play the game, Wayne and Dustin have shared a special bond as athletes with a superstar fandom.
“Obviously having a lot of ties to Canada with Paulina, her dad, Wayne, who, thanks to him, I get a lot of fans out here, so it makes it a lot more fun playing out here in front of a big crowd. I had a lot of support this week, and it was a lot of fun,” said Johnson.
When Dustin Johnson was born, Wayne Gretzky led his Edmonton Oilers team to their first Stanley Cup Final victory. 34 years later, Johnson is able to hoist Canada’s golf cup and he is not ready to give it up too soon.