World No.1 Dustin Johnson confirmed his status as the best player on the planet with a one-shot victory at the WGC-Mexico Championship.
The reigning US Open champion recorded a closing 68 for a 14-under-par total, one better than Tommy Fleetwood and two clear of the European Tour’s newest member John Rahm and England’s Ross Fisher.
Johnson only moved to the top of the world rankings with victory in the PGA Tour’s Genesis Open a fortnight ago and is now joint favourite with most bookmakers to win The Masters alongside Jordan Spieth.
“It means a lot because world No.1 is a tough spot to be in,” said the 32-year-old. “There’s a lot of pressure on you but I came out and I played really well. I hit the ball great all week.
“The greens are tough to putt on and I didn’t feel like I putted my best, but I really hit the ball well and played just well enough I guess because I won by one.”
Johnson now has the second most WGC titles with four, some 14 behind Tiger Woods’ haul of 18.
But despite the deficit, Johnson has his sights set on catching the 14-time major champion.
“He’s got a lot, but yeah, I’m going to try.”
Rory McIlroy began the final round two shots off the lead but was never able to mount a charge, with the world No.3 finishing joint seventh after carding two bogeys and two birdies in a closing 71.
“I needed to get off to a fast start and I didn’t,” he said. “That was really it. I mean you look at what DJ did through sort of the first nine holes, I needed to get off to a start like that.
“The course got a little trickier over the weekend. Maybe I just didn’t quite adjust to that. But all in all, first week back, it’s okay. But being two ahead going into the weekend, obviously disappointed with the finish I had.”