By Paul Myers
With just one event to go in the 2016 version of the FedEx Cup Playoffs, Dustin Johnson has clearly established himself as the man to beat. Johnson took home the title at the BMW Championship at Crooked Stick GC, putting himself in the top spot prior to the TOUR Championship at East Lake GC in Atlanta. The players will take a week off prior to the TOUR Championship, which will be followed directly by the Ryder Cup.
In the end, it was a relatively easy victory for Johnson at the BMW. Of course, when you are able to shoot an incredible score of 23-under-par for four rounds, you tend not to be challenged too much by the competition. Johnson shot rounds of 67-63-68-67, which allowed him to coast to a three shot win over Paul Casey. In fact, Johnson was so dominant that he managed to finish a full 11 shots ahead of the players who finished in a tie for fourth place. There is rarely that kind of separation at the top of a leader board on the PGA Tour, which demonstrates just how well Johnson is playing in the 2016 season.
The New Closer
There was a time in his career when it was thought that Dustin Johnson didn’t have what it takes to close out big tournaments when he had the lead – but those days are long gone. Johnson did have some narrow misses in big events like the PGA Championship at the U.S. Open, but he seems to be a new man with a major championship now under his belt. Playing the final nine holes of the BMW Championship in two under – including an eagle on the 15th hole to lock things up – Johnson never looked like he would falter on this stage. With one more performance like this one, he can cap a career year by taking home the FedEx Cup title.
Hit and Miss
For the other top players in the world, the BMW Championship was a mixed bag of results. Both Adam Scott and Jordan Spieth played pretty well, finishing T4 and 9th respectively. Scott is now in 3rd place in the FedEx Cup race, giving himself a real chance at East Lake. Spieth will head to Atlanta in 7th place, meaning he still has a chance to defend his title – but is going to need a bit of help to do so. On the other end of the spectrum, Rory McIlroy finished down the board in a tie for 42nd, leaving himself 6th in the FedEx race after his win the week before. Jason Day was unable to finish the week due to injury, leaving his status in doubt for the TOUR Championship.
Ryder Cup Fever
While golf fans are certainly excited to watch the action from East Lake to see who can come away with the FedEx Cup trophy, there is also anticipation building already for the Ryder Cup, which will be held just a few days after the TOUR Championship has been completed. The American side will enter the Ryder Cup as a significant underdog to a European team that is stacked with talent – and has plenty of confidence thanks to recent success. As always, the three-day event is sure to be packed with drama and will likely come down to the final few holes on Sunday afternoon.