Dustin Johnson cut a relieved figure on Monday after winning the Tour Championship and pocketing a whopping R251 million for winning the FedEx Cup.
The American claimed a three-stroke victory at East Lake Golf Club, capping a memorable season where he stood head and shoulders above the rest of the competitors on the PGA Tour.
Three victories during a testing year with a lot of curveballs rocketed Johnson to the summit of the Official World Golf Rankings, which was rich reward for all the hard work and effort he put in over the past 12 months.
‘It means a lot. Obviously, it’s a very tough trophy to win. I’ve been close several times. This time I did control my own destiny, which I knew what I had to do. I had the lead to start, but I still had to go out and play well today,’ Johnson told reporters after becoming FedEx Cup champion for the first time in his illustrious career.
The 36-year-old held a five-shot lead at the start of his final round but knew it wasn’t going to be plain sailing with guys like Xander Schauffele, Justin Thomas, Jon Rahm and Collin Morikawa also in the hunt.
‘I had a lot of great players right behind me and they played some good golf. It got pretty close there at the end, which is what I thought it would be. I knew I was going to have to come down the stretch and hit some golf shots.’
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) September 7, 2020
Johnson’s winning putt on the 18th hole, though, signified a true test of character after he looked all but down and out a few weeks ago after disappointingly missing the cut at the Memorial before withdrawing from the 3M Open a week later.
With his wife running on to the green to congratulate him for what he had just achieved and the new season starting in a couple of days, Johnson embraced the moment of achieving almost the unthinkable but is as eager as ever to become even better.
‘Being a FedExCup champion is something that I really wanted to do. I wanted to hold that trophy at the end of the day. It was something that I wanted to accomplish during my career, and obviously I got one of them. Now I’m going to try to get me another.
‘I’m definitely playing probably the best I’ve ever played. I really feel like everything is dialled in pretty well. I’ve just got a lot of confidence in every part of my game right now, so obviously I’m looking forward to it,’ he added.