World Number One Dustin Johnson denied Englishman Tommy Fleetwood his first World Golf Championship victory in Mexico as the American confirmed his status as the best player on the planet with a one-shot victory at Club de Golf Chapultepec.
The reigning US Open champion recorded a closing 68 for a 14 under total, one better than Fleetwood and two clear of the European Tour’s newest member John Rahm and England’s Ross Fisher. Belgium’s Thomas Pieters (68) shared fifth with third round leader Justin Thomas (72) of the USA.
Fleetwood holed from 40 feet on the last to complete a superb 66 and secure the biggest payday of his career of over $1 million and open up a gap of 965,676 points over Fabrizio Zanotti at the head of the Race to Dubai Rankings Presented by Rolex.
Fisher fired nine birdies in a closing 65 and Rahm reeled in Johnson in thrilling fashion before costly bogeys on the 16th and 17th.
Johnson only moved to the top of the Official World Golf Ranking with victory in the PGA Tour’s Genesis Open a fortnight ago but he has now established himself as the man to catch at the top of golf’s world order.
“It means a lot because World Number One is a tough spot to be in,” said Johnson. “There’s a lot of pressure on you but I came out and I played really well. I hit the ball great all week. The greens are tough to putt on and I didn’t feel like I putted my best, but I really hit the ball well and played just well enough I guess because I won by one.”
Fleetwood’s performance will take the 26 year old to a career-high of 35th in the world, with Rahm up to 25th.
“It’s tough to beat the best player in the world, isn’t it? It was a great back nine. I think started pretty well after all a couple bad shots. So I felt comfortable on the back nine and made the most of those two par 5s and a couple more birdies at the last,” Fleetwood said.
Rory McIlroy began the final round two shots off the lead but was never able to mount a charge, the World Number Three finishing joint seventh after carding two bogeys and two birdies in a closing 71.