Skip to main content
Part of complete coverage on

Johnson takes charge as Tournament of Champions finally begins

updated 11:48 AM EST, Tue January 8, 2013
Dustin Johnson won the Tournament of Champions in Hawaii after finishing 16-under-par at the reduced three-round event on Monday. Play was abandoned the previous three days due to high winds. Dustin Johnson won the Tournament of Champions in Hawaii after finishing 16-under-par at the reduced three-round event on Monday. Play was abandoned the previous three days due to high winds.
HIDE CAPTION
Joy for Johnson
Blowing Bubba
Beljan's battle
Wind up
A long weekend
Tuesday finish
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
>
>>
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Dustin Johnson leads the PGA Tour's Tournament of Champions in Hawaii
  • Play was abandoned on Friday, Saturday and Sunday due to strong winds
  • Johnson leads on 11-under after the field played 36 holes on Monday
  • Steve Stricker, Bubba Watson and Keegan Bradley all in the chasing pack

(CNN) -- A wind of change blew through Hawaii Monday and thankfully it was gentle enough to allow the PGA's Tournament of Champions to finally get under way.

For three days in a row the 30-strong field, all of whom won a PGA Tour event in 2012, had to sit idly by as play was canceled due to strong winds and driving rain.

It led to the bizarre sight of Rickie Fowler officially starting the new campaign three times, after his first two attempts were derailed by the weather.

But once the action began Dustin Johnson's detailed preparation for the competition showed, as his six practice rounds prior to teeing off in Maui helped him shoot rounds of 69 and 66 to lead on 11-under-par.

Read: PGA Tour season opener ruined by winds

The U.S. Ryder Cup star leads by three shots from fellow countryman Steve Stricker, with 2012 Masters champion Bubba Watson a further shot back.

Branden Grace on remarkable wins
Tom Watson named Ryder Cup captain
With his trademark victory cigar in one hand, Miguel Angel Jimenez poses with the trophy in the other after winning his home Spanish Open for the first time on May 18, 2014. Having passed 50, he is the European Tour's oldest victor. With his trademark victory cigar in one hand, Miguel Angel Jimenez poses with the trophy in the other after winning his home Spanish Open for the first time on May 18, 2014. Having passed 50, he is the European Tour's oldest victor.
Jimenez: Golf's great celebrater
HIDE CAPTION
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
>
>>
Jimenez: Golf\'s great celebrater Jimenez: Golf's great celebrater
One of the signatures holes on a new fantasy course at Mission Hills in China will see players attempt to hit a green surrounded by a noodle-style hazard complete with chopsticks. One of the signatures holes on a new fantasy course at Mission Hills in China will see players attempt to hit a green surrounded by a noodle-style hazard complete with chopsticks.
Noodle delight
HIDE CAPTION
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
>
>>
China\'s crazy fantasy golf course China's crazy fantasy golf course

Johnson now has a further 18 holes on Tuesday to retain his lead and take the first title of 2013. "I hit the ball really well this afternoon," he told the PGA Tour's official website.

"This course is a tough walk and it's really windy out there, but I'm in pretty good shape. I can handle it. I didn't really have an off season; I had a few weeks off but I needed a practice so that why I came out here early and get back into it.

"I've got new irons and a new driver now so I'm pretty pleased with my equipment and I'm pretty pleased with my game right now."

Johnson can feel confident going into the final day given he has triumphed in the last two PGA Tour events that have been shortened to 54 holes.

He added: "I've still got 18 more holes of golf. It wouldn't matter if it was 72 holes or 54. (Tuesday) is still the last round and there's 18 holes to play, so got to get the job done."

Monday's action was very nearly over almost before it began as two golf balls moved on the green due to strong gusts but the wind subsided and play continued the rest of the day.

Johnson missed just three greens in regulation during his double round and he carded only three bogeys in 36 holes.

Johnson's nearest challenger is Stricker despite the veteran struggling with pain in his lower back. The 45-year-old carded rounds of 71 and 67 to give him hope going into the final round.

Read: Golf star Beljan: I thought I was going to die

"Nobody knows if it's a muscle with pressure on the sciatic nerve or if there's a problem with a disk," Stricker said ot the discomfort he felt during his long day.

"My back feels great. I don't feel tight. I don't feel stiff. Just every time I get over to my left side, I'm getting a shooting pain down my leg. I'm not hitting it full strength and I'm just trying to keep it in front of me and play the smart shots."

Watson, who will defend his Masters title when the first major championship of 2013 gets underway in April, is on seven-under, four off the lead, but says Johnson is in top form going into the last day.

"The way he's playing, the way he's striking it, the way he's controlling his golf ball, it's pretty good right now," he said of his Monday playing partner. "And I don't see any different (on Tuesday) from him."

Watson is one shot ahead of 2011 U.S. PGA Champion Keegan Bradley. He is tied on six-under with 2012 FedEx Cup winner Brandt Snedeker.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 8:51 AM EDT, Fri September 12, 2014
It's a big dilemma: Be with your wife for the birth of your first child, or stay at work and try to earn $11 million. For Billy Horschel, it's a no-brainer.
updated 7:40 AM EDT, Fri September 12, 2014
She's just 19 but Hyo Joo Kim is already showing she's ready for the big time after recording the lowest ever round at a major championship.
updated 1:06 PM EDT, Wed September 10, 2014
Masters champion Bubba Watson says winning the $10 million FedEx Cup jackpot would bring forward his retirement from the game.
updated 7:31 AM EDT, Fri September 12, 2014
EVIAN-LES-BAINS, FRANCE - SEPTEMBER 15: A view of the 14th green during the third round of The Evian Championship at the Evian Resort Golf Club on September 15, 2013 in Evian-les-Bains, France. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
The world's top women golfers will be chasing a $3.25 million prize purse at one of the most stunning courses on the LPGA Tour.
updated 8:19 AM EDT, Wed September 3, 2014
Tom Watson selects Keegan Bradley, Hunter Mahan and Webb Simpson as his wildcard picks for the Ryder Cup contest with Europe.
updated 9:52 AM EDT, Tue September 2, 2014
Ian Poulter kept Europe clinging on in their Ryder Cup battle with the United States in Chicago.
Ian Poulter, who has constantly haunted the U.S. in Ryder Cup golf, is back after being chosen as a wildcard by European captain Paul McGinley.
updated 11:40 AM EDT, Mon August 25, 2014
Tiger Woods has split with his longtime coach Sean Foley after not winning a major during their four-year tenure.
updated 7:05 AM EDT, Mon August 11, 2014
Success just keeps on coming for Rory McIlroy, but the world No. 1 is already targeting more titles following his second PGA Championship win.
updated 10:24 AM EDT, Fri August 8, 2014
From Seve's "spine-shivering" moment to Jack Nicklaus' "perfect explosion," David Cannon has captured many of golf's defining images.
updated 9:20 AM EDT, Thu August 7, 2014
They came home as casualties of war -- physically shattered and mentally broken. But golf is proving to be an unlikely salvation for U.S. veterans.
updated 8:31 AM EDT, Tue August 5, 2014
You are the one hitting the shots, but the man standing over your shoulder could hold the key to your golfing destiny.
updated 8:27 AM EDT, Mon July 21, 2014
PINEHURST, NC - JUNE 10: Rory McIlroy (R) of Northern Ireland talks with his dad Gerry McIlroy (L) during a practice round prior to the start of the 114th U.S. Open at Pinehurst Resort & Country Club, Course No. 2 on June 10, 2014 in Pinehurst, North Carolina. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
He has been there for all three of his son's major wins, but the latest triumph may well have been the sweetest yet for Rory McIlroy's father.
ADVERTISEMENT