Johnson fends off Rose and Finau to win the Saudi International
World No 1 Dustin Johnson fends off Justin Rose and Tony Finau to win the Saudi International by two shots… as Masters champion clinches title for second time in three years
- Dustin Johnson posted a final round of 68 at Royal Greens Golf Club on Sunday
- Johnson finished on 15 under, two shots clear of Justin Rose and Tony Finau
- Scotland’s Calum Hill finished in a tie for fourth after he eagled the par-five 18th
- Rose said that was the he has played in ‘quite some time’ after finishing second
A good swing in the desert, all told. After wins for Tyrrell Hatton and Paul Casey in the Emirates across the past fortnight, Justin Rose fell only a fraction short of becoming the third Englishman in as many weekends to win on the European Tour on Sunday.
That he was unable to complete the hat-trick at the Saudi International was solely down to the brilliance of Dustin Johnson, whose global dominance of this game was underlined with a fourth tournament win in his past 13 starts.
As well as the Masters title, that stretch back to June also includes four top-three finishes, lest there be any doubt over whether the American warrants his spot as world No 1. He sealed this win by two strokes on 15 under after a closing round of 68.
Dustin Johnson celebrates with the Saudi International trophy after winning by two shots
Johnson has extended his lead at the top of the world rankings after holding his nerve
The world No 1 finished two shots clear of Justin Rose at the Saudi International on Sunday
Rose was two further back in a tie for second after a bogey-free 65, and that will have caught the eye of Padraig Harrington, in particular.
Rose at full force would sharply increase European chances at the Ryder Cup this autumn, and having fallen to 36 in the world after two years without a win, this performance pointed to an upturn for the 40-year-old.
Rose said: ‘That was the best golf I played in quite some time. It is easy to get frustrated. Momentum hasn’t quite been on my side yet, so to play a bogey-free 65 on a Sunday is something to kind of take and fuel the upcoming run.’
Scotland’s Calum Hill was tied for fourth and Hatton was sixth on 11 under. Barring a bogey on the par-three 16th, Johnson was comfortable in closing the win, even with some loose putting.
Tony Finau also finished tied second with Rose on 13 under par at Royal Greens Golf Club
Masters champion Johsnon celebrates after clinching victory on the 18th hole
He said: ‘It was a really good week. I felt like I played really solid every day. I gave myself a ton of chances but I’m going to have to go home and work on the putting a bit.’
Meanwhile, Jordan Spieth held a share of the lead with Xander Schauffele going into Sunday’s final round at the Waste Management Phoenix Open.
Spieth was chasing his first win since 2017. Rory McIlroy started his fourth round 12 off the lead.
Scotland’s Calum Hill finished in a tie for fourth on 12 under alongside Victor Perez
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