Johnson holds off Poulter to win first WGC event

Sun Nov 3, 2013 7:28am EST
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By Andrew Both

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - American Dustin Johnson pitched in for an eagle two at the 16th hole to set up a three-stroke victory over England's Ian Poulter and win his first World Golf Championship title at the $8.5 million HSBC Champions on Sunday.

Johnson carded a closing 66 to finish at 24-under-par 264 at Sheshan International with Poulter also shooting 66 for second place on 21-under. Northern Irishman Graeme McDowell was another shot back in third after also carding 66.

"It's the biggest win I've had so far in my career," Johnson told reporters.

The 29-year-old American started the final round with a three-shot lead over Poulter but surrendered it after an opening bogey as the Englishman started birdie-birdie.

Undeterred, Johnson picked up five birdies and an eagle from the eighth to collect the $1.53 million cheque for his eighth victory on the PGA Tour.

"I knew if I stuck to my game plan it would come," Johnson said. "I was swinging well and putting well.

"I wasn't having too much fun at the start, especially when Graeme and Ian were birdieing every hole it seemed like.

"They put a lot of pressure on me but I'm really proud of the way I handled myself. I thought I controlled my nerves pretty well today."   Continued...

Dustin Johnson of the U.S. tees off on the third hole during the final round of the WGC-HSBC Champions golf tournament in Shanghai November 3, 2013. REUTERS/Aly Song