Dustin Johnson overcame a five-shot deficit at the start of play to pip JB Holmes to victory by a stroke at the WGC-Cadillac Championship.
It was Johnson’s fifth tournament since his return after a six-month absence dealing with what were classified by the PGA Tour as personal issues.
After shooting a final round 69 to record his ninth PGA Tour win he was met at the 18th green by partner Paulina Gretzky, bearing two-month old son Tatum.
Johnson, who admits to past problems with alcohol, credits the influence of Paulina and fatherhood for turning his career around. Always a prodigious talent, he has in the arms of Wayne Gretzky’s daughter found the balance in his life to release the potential that too readily went to waste.
“This one is by far the best win of them all,” he said.
In what was a riveting finale Bubba Watson was the first to take advantage of Holmes’s decline with three birdies in the opening four holes to open a two-shot lead. Three bogeys coming in opened the door for Johnson, who dropped only one shot all day in trying conditions.
Rory McIlroy endured another eventful afternoon beginning with an impromptu presentation by Donald Trump on the driving range returning his errant 3-iron rescued from a lake.
After firing a second ball into the water at 18 with said club McIlroy was tempted to repeat his hammer throw of Friday, but kept his composure to chip in for a double bogey.
Despite his travails McIlroy finished in a tie for ninth place on one under par. His next engagement is a practice round this week at Augusta National with his father Gerry and Super Bowl hero Tom Brady.
“My game’s not quite there. I’ve got a week off now to try to work on it a little bit. I need to stand on the range and beat balls until I feel comfortable with it (swing) again,” he said.