Dustin Johnson checked two big boxes with his win at the Genesis Open on Feb. 19: world No. 1 and a picture-perfect family celebration when he broke through at Riviera Country Club.
Johnson went 49 holes bogey-free on Sunday as players finished the third and final rounds. He shot a 7-under-par 64 early in the day to open a six-stroke lead which extended to as many as nine in the final round. The AJGA alumnus was in position to win at Riviera four of the past five years and the victory sealed his 13th professional win.
From 1999 to 2002, Johnson played AJGA events including 2001 AJGA Greater Greensboro Chrysler Junior. After his junior golf career, he played college golf at Coastal Carolina University, where he was a two-time All-American and seven-time winner.
Johnson became just the 20th player to reach a No. 1 world ranking since the system began in 1986. In addition to moving to No. 1 in the Official World Golf Ranking for the first time in his career, Johnson also became the fourth player in history to win at least one time in each of their first 10 seasons on TOUR. The other three players are Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods.
Other AJGA alumni and tournament host highlights:
- T2: Scott Brown
- T4: AJGA tournament host Justin Rose, Rolex Junior All-American Kevin Na, Charley Hoffman
- T8: Two-time Rolex Junior All-American Ollie Schniederjans, Rolex Junior All-American Cameron Tringale
- T11: AJGA tournament hosts Jimmy Walker and Bill Haas
Players with at least one win in their first 10 (or more) seasons on TOUR:
Palmer (17 seasons)
DJ (10 & counting) pic.twitter.com/CXmyZcDvnm
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) February 20, 2017
Profitable Panama for Putnam
Fifteen years ago, Andrew Putnam overcame a four-stroke deficit to earn his first AJGA victory 30 minutes from his hometown in Washington. On Feb. 19, he raised the trophy for the first time since 2014 on the Web.com Tour, this time in a playoff at the Panama Claro Championship.
Putnam, a Rolex Junior All-American and Wyndham Cup West Team member, had a two-stroke lead coming into the final round but Chris Baker’s final round bogey-free 4-under-par 66 forced the sudden-death playoff.
Baker, also an AJGA alum, was a Transamerica Scholastic Junior All-American in 2002 and his career-best finish was also earned near his hometown (5th, 2004 PING Indianapolis Junior).
Down Under top finishers
At the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open in Adelaide, South Australia, Ha Na Jang won by three strokes, using an eagle and three birdies in her last six holes to close her fourth professional win.
AJGA alumni in the top 10 included:
- T3: Australian Minjee Lee (2012 U.S. Girls Junior Championship winner) and 2011 and 2012 Rolex Junior Player of the Year Ariya Jutanugarn (a four-time AJGA champion)
- T7: Maude Aimee Leblanc and Rolex Junior All-American Lizette Salas, who started the final round with a two-stroke lead.