Dustin Johnson enters the Genesis Open this week precisely one year after a win at the event handed him the world-number-one spot for the first time.
Consecutive wins at the WGC-Mexico Championship and WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play only strengthened his hold and he looked a shoo-in for the Masters title the following week before a slip down the stairs on the morning of the tournament caused a withdrawal and put a hold on his rampant form.Embed from Getty Images
It took the 33-year-old until The Northern Trust in August to get back on the winning circle but he was still there at number one. He has started 2018 win an emphatic eight-shot victory at the Sentry Tournament of Champions, a tied ninth and a tied second.
Now, a year into his reign at the summit, Johnson still takes great pleasure in sitting atop the world rankings but has confessed it has not been easy holding the lofty position.
“Yeah I check the rankings. It’s nice seeing my name at the top, so I look at it on Mondays usually,” Johnson said.
“That’s about it, though. Just to see what’s going on. I still don’t really understand them. But I can read, you know, ‘one’,” the 2016 US Open champion joked.
“But it’s nice and it’s been a tough year, obviously. Starting here, I was playing really, really well and then the injury at Augusta derailed me a little bit.
“But I’m battling back and I feel my game is finally starting to come into a really good form.
“It’s definitely difficult to stay number-one. The guys out here are very, very good and there’s a lot of very talented players.
“But I use it as my motivation to keep working harder and to keep doing the things I’m doing.”
Johnson tees off his Genesis Open title defence – in a bid to further the gap between himself and Jon Rahm in second – alongside other previous winners of the event Adam Scott and Bubba Watson at 12:12pm PST.