Dustin Johnson finishes 16 under to clinch weather-effected Tournament of Champions
The American finished four strokes clear of compatriot Steve Striker
Strong winds and torrential rain meant the event in Hawaii was reduced to three rounds
The tournament is the first of the 2013 PGA Tour season
Dustin Johnson clinched the opening PGA Tour title of 2013 after holding off a final round challenge from fellow American Steve Stricker at the Tournament of Champions in Hawaii.
The season’s curtain-raiser pitted 30 winners from 2012 against each other, but play was delayed by three days as high winds and torrential rain battered the Kapalua resort and caused the event to be reduced to just three rounds.
World No. 12 Johnson, three shots clear of defending champion Stricker heading into the final day, carded a five-under-par 68 to finish 16 under for tournament.
Stricker, one place behind Johnson in the world rankings, had a putt to draw level with Johnson at the 13th but he missed and his rival carded an eagle at the 14th to move into an unassailable four-stroke lead.
“It gives me a lot of confidence going into this year,” Johnson told the Tour’s official website after becoming the first player since Tiger Woods to win a PGA Tour title in each of his first six seasons out of college.
Stricker started the day in confident mood, but his slip at the 13th proved decisive as he eventually finished 12 under following a bogey-free round of 69.
“I actually thought, as we started the round today, I could really put some serious pressure on this guy because I’m going to hit first every time to the green,” said the 45-year-old, who is 90 under for his last 20 rounds at the Hawaii course.
“I had an opportunity, which is why we play is to have that opportunity to try to win. I had some chances today.
“I had some chances to put some pressure on early. Missed some putts there early in the round that could have made a difference, maybe not, but who knows-type thing.”
Johnson and Stricker’s 2012 U.S. Ryder Cup teammate Brandt Snedeker carded a 69 to finish 10 under, one shot clear of reigning Masters champion Bubba Watson (71) and 2011 PGA Championship winner Keegan Bradley (70).
World No. 31 Rickie Fowler finished on eight under after a stunning six-under-par 67. The American was forced to start the tournament three times after wind halted his first two attempts.
Englishman Ian Poulter, one of the heroes of Europe’s remarkable comeback victory against the U.S. in the September’s Ryder Cup, finished five under after closing with a 69.
The 2012 PGA Championship winner Webb Simpson was four under for the following a final round 71.