Johnson is the man to beat

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ATLANTA, GA - SEPTEMBER 21: Dustin Johnson smiles during a press conference at practice for the TOUR Championship, the final event of the FedExCup Playoffs, at East Lake Golf Club on September 21, 2016 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Keyur Khamar/PGA TOUR)
  • Post published:September 22, 2016

Dustin Johnson seems to be an indomitable force in world golf at the moment, but he could really drive that point home at the Tour Championship this week.

The world number two has won once a year since he joined the PGA Tour in 2008, but this has been his season. The big-hitting American won the 112th US Open and most recently the BMW Championship, the latter of which put him top of the FedEx Cup standings headed to East Lake.

‘I feel like all year I’ve played really solid. I’ve had a lot of really good finishes, and obviously, finally getting that first major and a couple of weeks ago winning the playoff event, the BMW Championship,’ he said.

‘Feeling good coming into this week for sure. I like this golf course. I think it sets up well for me. It’s long. It’s tough. You’ve got to hit a lot of good shots around here,’ he added.

On Thursday he’ll tee off in the final event on the 2015/16 PGA Tour calendar as a hot favourite. The $8,5-million Tour Championship has a field comprising the top 30 players from the regular season, all trying to top the final points standings and win the FedEx Cup, which comes with a bonus cheque of $10-million.

Johnson is statistically the best player on earth right now and will be hard to beat at East Lake, even though the course favours good putting.

Number five in the standings is Paul Casey, who summed up his biggest rival coming into the week. ‘My clear favorite has to be Dustin,’ he said asked to assess the FedEx Cup race. ‘The way he played (two weeks ago) was just brilliant.’

32-year-old Johnson is in a good space right now and victory at the Tour Championship would undoubtedly make him Player of the Year.

‘It would definitely cap off a great season, you know,’ he said. ‘It’s definitely a championship I haven’t won before, the Tour Championship or the FedEx Cup. It would be two great to add to the résumé. I would be honored to stand there at the end and hold up either one of the trophies.’