Instead of calling it the Sentry Tournament of Champions, they could have more accurately called it the Sentry Tournament of Dustin Johnson and Everybody Else, as Johnson lapped the field and left the others in his wake, posting an eight shot victory over a field that was restricted to players who won on the PGA Tour last season.
The inaugural event of 2018 was played at Kapalua, on the island of Maui in the state of Hawaii. The layout of the course was slightly unusual, in that it played to par 73, with only one par three on the back nine.
Translation: for someone with Johnson’s prodigious driving distance, it was the sort of course Johnson would have designed if he were asked to design a course that was most favourable to him and least favourable to his opponents.
Johnson is long on a regular basis, but he brought a little extra shaft with him to Hawaii, where he produced three of the 10 longest drives of his career.
Johnson had three drives of over 400 yards during the four rounds at Plantation. The only place he has ever hit it any further was a 463-yard monster at the Dell Technologies at TPC in Boston in 2011 and a 439-yard poke at Firestone in last year’s WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.
Two of his big drives in Hawaii have come of the par 4 12th hole. In the fourth round this year, he drove the green and came within inches of a hole-in-one.
Yes, the wind helped and a good bounce added about 75 yards to Johnson’s tee shot, but it is borderline insane that a player has a tap-in for an eagle on a 420-yard par four.
Australia’s Mar Leishman and Cameron Smith were at the tournament. Both played well and Leishman even held a spot near the top after the first and second rounds, but the 72nd hole found him nine shots in arrears of Johnson.
Cameron Smith was 16 shots behind Johnson.