DJ holds off Poulter, G-Mac for 1st WGC title

Final Round –PGA Tour and European Tour – WGC-HSBC Champions – Sheshan International Golf Club – Shanghai, China –

After a sluggish start (1-over through seven holes) in the final round, American Dustin Johnson turned up the heat making five birdies an eagle at the 16th hole to capture the WGC-HSBC Champions.

Johnson, who finished 24-under overall, secured his first World Golf Championships victory outlasting a strong field at Sheshan International Golf Club in Shanghai, China.

The 2013 Hyundai Tournament of Champions victor last January on the PGA Tour won for the seventh straight season on the PGA Tour with the win. He led the field in Greens In Regulation (83%) and made 10 birdies Friday and 10 birdies Saturday en route to victory. He also survived three double-bogeys on the week.

Ian Poulter and Graeme McDowell shared the lead Sunday at different points of the final round grouped together with Johnson. Poulter, the defending champion at the event, would end up second at 21-under with G-Mac secured third place at 20-under.

G-Mac, who won tournaments on both the PGA Tour and European Tour in 2013, trimmed Henrik Stenson’s overall advantage in the Race To Dubai standings with just two events to play.

Spain’s Sergio Garcia finished with flair carding a final-round 9-under-63 to secure solo 4th place at 18-under overall.

Johnson, a 33-1 pick to start the week at, finished T-5 at the TOUR Championship on the PGA Tour just a few weeks ago.

Other Golf News:

  • Stenson’s Race To Dubai Standings led was cut to less than $200,000 over G-Mac. Stenson – fighting a right wrist injury since winning the FedEx Cup on the PGA Tour – shot 67-65 on the weekend in China to post T-31. Justin Rose (a Top 10 in China) is third in the standings just over $300,000 behind Stenson. The European Tour hosts the Turkish Airlines Open next week and concludes the season with the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai Nov. 14-17.
  • Fred Couples (15-under) takes a five-shot cushion into the final round of the Charles Schwab Cup Championship in San Francisco. Couples is looking for his first victory of the Champions Tour season here in the season finale. Mark O’Meara is second followed by defending champion Tom Lehman, who shot 65 Saturday.
  • Johnson, who finished the FedEx Cup season 13th on the PGA Tour and ended the 2013 season 19th on the Money List, was No. 23 in the world rankings before his victory. He is expected to nearly crack the Top 10 when the Official World Golf Rankings are released Monday.
  • Kenny Perry and Bernhard Langer are both T-7 in San Francisco with 18 holes to play. Perry looks like a sure best to lock up the year-long Charles Schwab Cup. Langer needs a victory this week to have a shot at the cup. He trails Couples by eight shots.