As he often does, Dustin Johnson made it took easy.
The 34-year-old Johnson claimed his 20th victory on the PGA Tour by shooting 5-under-par 66 to win the WGC-Mexico Championship by five strokes over Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland at Club de Golf Chapultepec www.Club de Golf Chapultepec in Naucalpan, Mexico, just west of Mexico City.
“I hadn’t played that well the last few weeks, even though I won in Saudi Arabia (three weeks ago),” said DJ, who has won in all 12 of his seasons on the PGA Tour. “So when I got here on Monday I tried to remember how I felt when I won here two years ago, worked on it, and it clicked. My game felt good this week.
“It means a lot to get 20 wins out here before the age of 35. It’s difficult to do and it really means something. It gives me confidence for the rest of the year. Rory played well, too, and I felt some nerves early in the day, but made some good par saves that gave me some momentum.”
Johnson, who claimed his sixth WGC title, finished with a 72-hole score of 21-under 263. He will regain the No. 1 spot in the World Golf Rankings in a week after he and the current No. 1, Justin Rose of England, both skip the Honda Classic this week and the points adjust.
McIlroy, who has finished in the top five in his last four PGA Tour events without winning, got to within two strokes early in the round, but couldn’t catch Johnson despite making six birdies on the back nine in a 67.
“I played good and I think 16-under was good enough to win this tournament in the past,” said McIlroy, whose 23rd and last pro victory came in the 2018 Arnold Palmer Invitational. “Some weeks you play well and another guy just plays better than you. That’s happened to me a few times lately.
“DJ was so impressive, the way he drives it and the putts that he made. He deserved to win. I can only control what I do and I’m playing well. I think I’m 56-under in the last four tournaments.
“Hopefully, one of these weeks things will fall my way.”
Paul Casey of England carded a second straight 65 to wind up 10 shots behind in a tie for third with Kiradech Aphibarnrat of Thailand and Ian Poulter of England, who both finished at 68.
Patrick Cantlay of Los Alamitos and UCLA, Sergio Garcia of Spain and Cameron Smith of Australia all totaled 70 to wind up one more back in a tie for sixth, while fourth-ranked Justin Thomas collected 10 birdies in a 62 and was 12 down in solo ninth.
Tiger Woods, who has won a record 18 WGC titles, closed with a 69 to wind up 13 strokes behind in a tie for 10th with Joost Luiten (64) of the Netherlands, Keegan Bradley (65) and David Lipsky (69) of Los Angeles.
Seventh-ranked Xander Schauffele of La Jolla and San Diego State shot 69 to tie for 14th, 10th-ranked Francesco Molinari of Italy tied for 17th after a 70 and second-ranked Brooks Koepka tied for 27th with a 69.
Ninth-ranked Rickie Fowler of Murrieta closed with a 71 to tie for 36th, sixth-ranked Jon Rahm of Spain tied for 45th following a 69 and fifth-ranked Bryson DeChambeau of Clovis totaled 69 to tie for 56th.
Defending champion Phil Mickelson shot 68 and tied for 39th.
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