February 20, 2017: After a rousing 67 helped Anirban Lahiri into the top ten, his hopes came crashing in the final two rounds of the Genesis Open. The tournament was beset by delays and suspensions, robbing Anirban of the momentum he built with a solid effort in the opening two rounds. Dustin Johnson climbed to No.1 in the world with a brilliant five shot canter over Thomas Pieters and Scott Brown.
Anirban played aggressive golf, looking for a push up the order, but poor driving cost him dearly. Anirban clocked just 39% greens in regulation with his driving accuracy languishing at just under 29%, playing 36 holes on Sunday.
Anirban shot scores of 76 and 73 in the final two rounds. The 81st ranked Indian ended the week at 2-over 286.
Johnson had a one-shot lead when he arrived Sunday at Riviera, which lost 10 hours the previous three days to fog and torrential rain. Johnson had such command of his game that his longest par putt in the third round was from 4 feet, and he closed with three straight birdies to make the final round in the afternoon more of a coronation.
Johnson went 49 straight holes without a bogey, a streak that ended on No. 9 in the final round, and he was sloppy down the stretch when it no longer mattered.
It capped off a strong stretch that elevated Johnson to the top. Not only was it his fourth victory since June, he has finished among the top three in eight of his last 16 tournaments.
“No surprise to us players, and I don’t think too much surprise to many others,” Jordan Spieth said. Spieth ended his streak of 19 consecutive rounds under par on the PGA Tour – and 27 rounds worldwide – with a 72 in the third round.
Johnson finished at 17-under 267. About the only disappointment was losing a chance to break the oldest 72-hole scoring record on the PGA Tour schedule. Lanny Wadkins won at Riviera in 1985 at 20-under 264.
Johnson reached 20 under with his 21st birdie of the week on the par-3 sixth hole. Having made only one bogey all week, he finished with three over the last 10 holes.
“I didn’t finish the last 10 holes the way I’d like to, but I had a pretty good lead. I was on cruise control,” Johnson said.
He still had no complaints. He scooped up his 2-year-old son, Tatum, on the 18th green. Johnson’s fiancee, Paulina Gretzky, announced on Instagram earlier this week they are expecting their second child.
Source: AP report on PGA.com