Golf Comment: Johnson ready to be contender at the Masters

Sam Torrance
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Johnson’s victory at the WGC-Cadillac Championship was his ninth career PGA Tour title
DUSTIN Johnson played magnificently on Sunday to win the WGC-Cadillac Championship in Miami by a single stroke and it continues an impressive comeback following his sixmonth leave of absence.

When players return from long layoffs you just don’t know whether that time away from the game will take its toll in some capacity but that was his fifth start and he has been magnificent. He was as good as it gets.

Johnson found the fairways and greens in windy conditions and hit two shots down the 18th under intense pressure, which were particularly impressive and noteworthy.

I still don’t like his swing though. It is very unique. An unusual hand position leaves the clubface pointing skywards. It is a swing which completely goes against anything I was taught. But the boy can play. He has had some near misses at Majors in the past but will be a big contender at next month’s Masters.

Bubba Watson led by two strokes after nine holes of the final round having birdied four of his first seven to take the lead from JB Holmes, but eventually finished third after hitting three bogeys.

Watson, who has twice come second at the WGC-Cadillac Championship before going on to win the Masters, will be disappointed because he looked a winner all day. In the end Johnson just wore him down and showed good composure on what is a tough course.

There were flashes of brilliance from world No1 Rory McIlroy despite him finishing eight shots behind Johnson. He missed the cut at the Honda Classic the previous week but I think he’s bubbling away pretty nicely.

He said he has work to do before bidding to complete a career grand slam at the Masters, although I think he is getting it together. His swing looks as good as I’ve ever seen it. I thought it was amusing when he hurled his three-iron into a lake during the second round, much better than snapping it across his knee.

Finally, it was a fantastic win for Trevor Fisher Jnr to win his first European Tour title at the Africa Open. A lot of credit must also go to the not so young Englishman Matt Ford, who finished second, five shots behind the winner.

I know the 36-year-old didn’t win but it was a heartening performance. Not only will it have been the biggest pay-day of his career but the performance will stand him in good stead in his quest to retain his European Tour card.

Sam Torrance OBE is a multiple Ryder Cup-winning golfer and media commentator. Follow him on Twitter @torrancesam