OLYMPIA FIELDS, Ill. – Wonder how Dustin Johnson celebrated his stunning rout in the Northern Trust at TPC Boston on Sunday?
Bottles of Dom Perignon? Massive party into the wee hours? Buy a new car?
Nah, he went back to work.
The FedEx Cup Playoffs leader and newly christened world No. 1 flew straight to the Windy City shortly after wrapping up his media obligations and was in a local gym at 10 a.m. Monday.
Then he headed to Olympia Fields Country Club, home to this week’s second event of the playoffs, and played seven holes in the afternoon. Tuesday morning he was on the putting green at 7 a.m. and then played another eight holes.
“He celebrates on his off weeks,” his coach, Claude Harmon III, said in a text to Golfweek. “It’s time to work. He wants to win the FedEx Cup.
“He’s been so close.”
Yes, he has – Johnson wound up second in 2016, fourth in 2011, 2017 and 2018, fifth in 2010, seventh in 2015 and eighth in 2012. His victory in the Northern Trust was his fifth in a FedEx Cup playoff event, tied for most with Rory McIlroy. His 19 top-10s in the FedEx Cup Playoffs are the most, as are his 11 top-5s.
Thus, he’s concentrating on winning the FedEx Cup, not celebrating his win in The Northern Trust. On the plane westward, he ate, caught up on an episode of “Yellowstone” and watched and episode of “Deadliest Catch” on his iPad – and started studying his Olympia Fields yardage book.
“I haven’t had much time to reflect on the win last week, but it was really good,” Johnson said Tuesday. “Obviously I played very well, and everything went very well last week. This week I’m still just focused on getting ready for this tournament and this golf course.
“Obviously this week still is a big week, big tournament. I like this golf course. You definitely want to be on your game around here for sure.”
He certainly was on his game last week.
Johnson made 23 birdies and five eagles during rounds of 67-60-64-63. He was 26 under his last three rounds, in which he missed only three greens in regulation.
His 11-shot win was the first double-digit win on the PGA Tour since Brian Gay won the 2009 RBC Heritage by 10. Johnson’s margin of victory was the largest on Tour since Phil Mickelson won 2006 BellSouth Classic by 13.
Johnson finished at 30-under 254, making him only the third player in PGA Tour history to finish at 30 under or better in a 72-hole tournament. He fell just one shot short of tying Justin Thomas’ 72-hole record 253 total set in the 2017 Sony Open in Hawaii. Johnson also fell one shot short of tying Ernie Els’ 72-hole record in relation to par of 31 under set in the 2003 Sentry Tournament of Champions.
He left everyone was in awe. Harris English shot 64-66-66-69 to finish second but was 11 shots back. Jon Rahm shot 69-69-67-65 and was 14 shots back. Tyler Duncan shot four rounds in the 60s – and lost by 20.
“Last week is the best total control of his game I have seen in the eight years I have been around DJ,” Harmon said. “I walked almost every hole last week and it looked like a video game.”
It was Johnson’s 22nd Tour title, but all he’s thinking about is winning No. 23.
“For four rounds it’s the best I’ve ever hit it for sure,” said Johnson, who has signed for 12 consecutive rounds in the 60s. “That was by far the best ball-striking performance I’ve put on. And then obviously I putted very nicely the last three rounds, not the first round, but that’s all right, it still worked out for me.”
So he’ll just keep trying to do what’s been working.
“Still working on exactly the same things as I was doing last week, just making sure everything is staying consistent, that I got the same feels,” Johnson said. “That the ball is just starting on my lines and I’m hitting the same shots. That’s what I’ve been working on this week is just kind of going through the same routines I did last week just to keep the swing in check.
“For me it’s all about consistency. Last week I did a really good job of controlling my distance with my irons, and if you’re controlling your distance well, you can be a little left and a little right and still have a nice putt at it.
“This week is going to be more of the same. The greens have a lot of slope and they’re firm, so if you can control the distance with irons, then you can give yourself a lot of good looks. That’s all I’m working on, same thing as I was working on last week.”