DJ dominates in Boston

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DJ with silverware

TPC Boston is a difficult golf course. A very difficult, very long golf course.

You’d never know that if you spent the week watching Dustin Johnson obliterate the course like nobody else ever had before.

Johnson capped off a victory late Sunday afternoon — after the second weather delay in as many days — with a final score of 30-under par. That score in and of itself says all that needs to be said about the weekend that Johnson had, but perhaps the best picture of Johnson’s performance came from his finish to his second round on Friday.

It was on the 18th hole of that second round when Johnson had a very good chance to finish Friday with a sub-60 score. Considering Scottie Scheffler had turned in a course-record 59 earlier in the day, a repeat of the historic performance was almost expected of Johnson, who had started his round by going 7-under through the first five holes. He was 11-under through 11 holes and was on pace to card a score nobody’s ever really seen before. Alas, he “only” managed to par the final seven holes, finishing with a “disappointing” 60, 11-under on the par-71 course.

A day later, on that 18th green, he sunk a 40-foot eagle putt, finishing his third round at 7-under.

And coincidentally, two days after shooting 11-under, Johnson held up the trophy on that same 18th green, 11 shots up on his closest competitor.

Eleven shots up on his closest competitor.

Johnson entered Sunday with a five-shot lead over Scheffler and Harris English, with Louis Ooshuizen next in line, seven shots back of the lead. Technically speaking, there could have been drama on Sunday if Johnson had started with a bogey or two in his first few holes.

Instead, Johnson came out on Sunday afternoon and eagled the second. Then he birdied four and five. And seven and eight. And before he even made the turn, the tournament was over.

Despite having the tournament well in hand, Johnson managed to finish with a flourish, rolling in for birdie on 18 to finish the nice round number of 30-under par.

For some perspective on that score to par, consider that in the 16 previous tournaments held at the same course, the best score to win prior to this weekend was 22-under par. That score had been carded three times before: Henrik Stenson in 2013, Charley Hoffman in 2010, and Vijay Singh in 2008. Back in 2003, the first year of the course hosting a PGA event, a score of 10-under was enough to win. The most distance any champion had finished over the rest of the field was five shots, done by Hoffman and Singh. The tournament had been decided by three shots or fewer in 13 of 16 years.

The course was challenging, and the course proved to be a great equalizer. Until Johnson went ahead with the best four-day score by eight strokes, and the largest margin of victory by six strokes.

“It is a big margin, and I’m definitely really proud of that,” Johnson said of his 11-stroke victory. “I played really good. My goal today was, I knew I was playing well and I knew the guys were going to shoot low. But yeah, so I was trying to get 30-under. Which, obviously I made a nice little putt on the last hole to get to 30.”

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