MIAMI (Reuters) - American Dustin Johnson, in his fifth start since taking a personal leave from golf, overcame J.B. Holmes’s five-stroke final-round lead for a one-shot victory at the WGC-Cadillac Championships on Sunday.
Johnson, who made his first PGA Tour start last month since taking a leave of absence in July to deal with personal issues, carded a three-under 69 at Trump National Doral for his ninth PGA Tour win.
“All of them are good but this one might be the best for sure,” said Johnson, who kept his cool on the tricky par-four 18th to make par and secure the win. “I am so excited right now I can’t really talk.”
Holmes, who led the tournament after each of the first three rounds at Doral, fell apart with three early bogeys. He dropped another stroke at 14 but made a birdie two holes later to salvage a three-over 75 that left him alone in second place.
“Dustin played a great round,” said Holmes, “I knew it was going to take a good round to beat me, even if I had a little bit of an off-day and 69 out here is pretty freaking good.”
Masters champion Bubba Watson, who led by two strokes at the turn and looked ready to run away with the tournament, finished in third after his four-under 32 on the front nine was undone by three bogeys over a four-hole stretch on the back nine.
Australia’s Adam Scott (71) and Sweden’s Henrik Stenson (72) finished tied for fourth.
World number one Rory McIlroy, who struggled with his ball-striking throughout the week, finished tied for ninth, eight shots behind Johnson, after an even-par he shot even-par 72 that was capped by a double-bogey on the 18th.
Editing by Frank Pingue