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Last week, Dustin Johnson was ranked 218th in the world. 

That number dropped 13 places in the hours after his first victory of the season at LIV Golf Las Vegas.

Johnson topped a tightly-packed leaderboard that included both Jon Rahm and Bryson DeChambeau to win his third LIV title on Super Bowl weekend and claim the $4million winner’s cheque.

The two-time major champion was LIV’s inaugural individual champion in 2022 and looks primed for another successful season after finishing fifth in the standings in 2023.

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Few would argue that Johnson remains one of the best players in the world after joining the Saudi-backed LIV circuit when he was inside the top 15 in the rankings.

And while his world ranking continues to plummet without access to points on his circuit, Johnson’s declaration after winning in Las Vegas sounded ominous for his LIV rivals in 2024.

“Last year I didn’t play very well to be honest but it kind of goes with how much effort that goes into it too,” he told reporters after lifting the trophy on Saturday. “Obviously I could have worked a lot harder than I did.

“This year, I’ve got a little more drive and determination. I don’t enjoy not playing well. I enjoy playing well and being up here and talking to you guys after the weeks over and holding up the trophy.”

So, it appears Johnson has that fire in his belly again.

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The 39-year-old won over $7m through prize money alone in LIV’s second season without exerting maximum effort, but is clearly more focused on claiming more silverware this time around.

And despite his lowly ranking, Johnson has exemptions for all this year’s majors via his Masters win in 2020.

His next trip to Augusta National is already in sight, where he will aim to become the second player competing on Greg Norman’s series to win one of the four career-defining tournaments.

“The game is feeling in really good form for this early in the year, and so I’m excited for the rest of the year,” he added.

“Obviously got a big stretch coming up with Saudi, Hong Kong, come back, Doral, and then the Masters. I want to be in good form for the foreseeable future at least. Got a lot of big tournaments.”

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Ben Parsons joined bunkered as a Content Producer in 2023 and is the man to come to for all of the latest news, across both the professional and amateur games. Formerly of The Mirror and Press Association, he is a member at Halifax Golf Club and is a long-suffering fan of both Manchester United and the Wales rugby team.

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