February 20, 2017 10:32 AM
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Dustin Johnson went to No. 1 in the world with a world-class performance at Riviera.
Johnson turned a marathon finish into a Sunday stroll in the Genesis Open. He finished the third round in the morning with a 7-under 64 to build a five-shot lead, stretched it to nine shots at one point in the final round and coasted home to a 71 and a five-shot victory.
Johnson became the 20th player to reach No. 1 since the world ranking began in 1986, ending Jason Day's 47-week stay at the top.
Johnson won for the fourth time against some of golf's strongest fields dating to his U.S. Open victory last summer. All he cared about Sunday was winning at Riviera, one of his favorite courses where he has had chances in four of the last five years.
There was no doubt this time.
Johnson had a one-shot lead when he arrived Sunday at Riviera, which lost 10 hours the previous three days to fog and torrential rain. Johnson had such command of his game that his longest par putt in the third round was from 4 feet, and he closed with three straight birdies to make the final round in the afternoon more of a coronation.
Johnson went 49 straight holes without a bogey, a streak that ended on No. 9 in the final round, and he was sloppy down the stretch when it no longer mattered.
It capped off a strong stretch that elevated Johnson to the top. Not only was it his fourth victory since June, he has finished among the top three in eight of his last 16 tournaments.
Johnson finished at 17-under 267. About the only disappointment was losing a chance to break the oldest 72-hole scoring record on the PGA Tour schedule. Lanny Wadkins won at Riviera in 1985 at 20-under 264.
Thomas Pieters of Belgium and Scott Brown tied in the other tournament. No one had a chance to win as soon as Johnson began the final round with two straight birdies, but Pieters closed with a 63 and Brown shot a 68 to share second place at 12-under 272.
NAPLES, Fla. (AP) — Fred Couples won the Chubb Classic for his 12th PGA Tour Champions title and first since 2014, rallying to beat Miguel Angel Jimenez at TwinEagles.
The 57-year-old Couples shot a bogey-free 5-under 67 to finish at 16-under 200 on the Talon Course, three strokes ahead of second-round leader Jimenez.
Also the 2010 event winner at The Quarry, Couples won for the first time since the 2014 Shaw Charity Classic in Alberta. The Hall of Famer, long hampered by back problems, won 15 times on the PGA Tour.
Couples had three front-nine birdies and matched Jimenez's birdies on the par-4 14th and par-5 17th. Jimenez, a stroke ahead of playing partners Couples and Kevin Sutherland entering the round, shot a 71.
Jerry Kelly closed with a 66 to tie for third at 11 under in his senior debut. The three-time PGA Tour winner turned 50 in November. Jeff Sluman (68) and Canada's Rod Spittle (69) also were 11 under.
Sutherland followed his second-round 63 with a 73 to drop into a tie for sixth at 10 under with Bernhard Langer (69), Scott McCarron (67) and Jerry Smith (69). Langer won in 2011 at The Quarry and 2013 and 2016 at TwinEagles.
WOMEN'S AUSTRALIAN OPEN
ADELAIDE, Australia (AP) — Ha Na Jang had an eagle and three birdies in the last six holes to pull away for a three-shot victory in the Women's Australian Open.
The South Korean player closed with a 4-under 69 to finish at 10-under 282 at Royal Adelaide. She won for the fourth time on the LPGA Tour.
Nanna Madsen of Denmark was second after a 73.
Haru Nomura, the Japanese player who won the 2016 tournament, closed with a 73 to tie for third place at 6 under with second-ranked Ariya Jutanugarn (71), Minjee Lee (70) and Sarah Jane Smith (75)
Third-round leader Lizette Salas had a 78 to tie for seventh at 5 under.
Top-ranked Lydia Ko, with a new coach and new clubs, finished well off the pace at 2 over with rounds of 71, 75, 73 and 75.
WORLD SUPER 6
PERTH, Australia (AP) — Australia's Brett Rumford beat Thailand's Phachara Khongwatmai 2 and 1 in the final match to win the first World Super 6 title.
Rumford led by five strokes at 17-under 199 after 54 holes of stroke play in the experimental golf tournament at Lake Karrinyup that was sanctioned by the European, Asian and Australasian tours.
Eliminations during three rounds of stroke play whittled the field down to 24 for five six-hole rounds of match play. The top eight seeded players, led by Rumford, had a first-round bye. Rumford beat Japan's Hideto Tanihara and Australians Wade Ormsby and Adam Bland to reach the final.
PANAMA CLARO CHAMPIONSHIP
PANAMA CITY (AP) — Andrew Putnam won the Panama Claro Championship for his second Web.com Tour title, beating Chris Baker with an 18-foot birdie putt on the first hole of a playoff.
Putnam closed with a 2-under 68 to match Baker (66) at 13-under 267 at Panama Golf Club.
The 28-year-old former Pepperdine player earned $112,500 to take the money lead with $171,100. The top 25 at the end of the regular season will earn PGA Tour cards for next season.
Putnam also won the 2014 WNB Golf Classic. He finished in the top 11 in his first three starts this season, tying for eighth and 11th in the Bahamas and finishing fifth last week in Colombia.
Sam Ryder (68) was two strokes back, Abraham Ancer (67) followed at 9 under, and Conrad Shindler (65), Jonathan Byrd (66) and Keith Mitchell (66) were 8 under.
By The Associated Press
Updated: February 20, 2017 10:32 AM
(Copyright 2017 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)