There was a telling moment in Dustin Johnson’s victory at the Northern Trust Open on Sunday. Having sent his tee shot at the 72nd hole into thick rough, Johnson faced a decision.
The DJ of old might have been tempted to take it on and aim for the green, but instead he flipped a wedge onto the fairway and laid up. He went on to make par and took Jordan Spieth to a play-off, which he won.
It showed a tremendous amount of class and highlighted how Johnson has improved his course management. Now the world No1 has yet another weapon in his armoury.
The duel between Johnson and Spieth down the back nine provided a fantastic finish to the first leg of the FedEx Cup Playoffs.
Open champion Spieth holed a very brave putt to make par at 17 and his opponent, having taken the scenic route to the green, followed suit at the following hole.
Johnson then clinched the title when they replayed 18, this time bypassing the water with a phenomenal 340-yard drive. It was a classy way to wrap up his first win since March.
Having seen his challenge for further Majors hindered by an injury suffered on the eve of the Masters, Johnson now looks back to his best.
As he did in that spell of three consecutive wins that preceded Augusta, he seems comfortable again at the top of the leaderboard.
Given his low-key summer it feels fitting that he is in pole position to compensate by winning the FedFex Cup for the first time.
It’s also appropriate that Spieth is his closest challenger in the rankings heading into the last three events of the PGA Tour.
They have been the outstanding two players this season and Spieth was amazing once again this week. He has so much heart but just found Johnson too good on Sunday.
Despite flying under the radar throughout, Jon Rahm managed to finish in a tie for third.
It was another impressive week for the young Spaniard and lifted him to fifth in the FedEx Cup standings. Wherever he ends up, he has already had an extraordinary first full season on the PGA Tour.
Rory McIlroy, meanwhile, finished in a share of 34th and looks to be seeing out a disappointing season.
Suri takes Koepka path
Elsewhere, American Julian Suri continued his remarkable season by winning a maiden European Tour title.
His win in Denmark comes just three months after he won on the Challenge Tour for the first time and earns him a European Tour card.
Like US Open winner Brooks Koepka, Suri has cut his teeth on this side of the Atlantic. It’s a great story.