The Saudi International has only been in existence for three years, but it already has a repeat winner.
After four days of hotly contested action from Royal Greens Golf and Country Club, Dustin Johnson is the champion at the Saudi International. If you missed the action early this morning, here are three things to know from the week in Saudi Arabia.
1) The Dustin Johnson heater continues
We’ve been going at this for long enough to admit the obvious: Dustin Johnson is the best player in the world right now, and it isn’t particularly close.
DJ won for the fifth time in the last eight months Sunday in Saudi Arabia — a two-stroke victory that was only briefly in doubt. The 2020 Masters Champion led heading into Sunday, and cruised to a three-under 67 that featured four birdies to only a single bogey.
The reigning PGA Tour player of the year isn’t just scoring well, he’s also excelling in every aspect of his game. Johnson led the field at the Saudi International in average strokes gained: total (3.58) despite ranking in the top 5 in only a single individual strokes gained category.
With less than two months to go until DJ defends his green jacket at Augusta National, it’s hard to imagine another player entering the 2021 Masters with better odds than the 2020 champion.
2) Oh no, Tony
We might have entered a new year, but things have not gotten better for Tony Finau on Sundays. After entering the day three strokes back of Johnson, Finau seemed poised to vault himself into the lead coming down the stretch. Instead, he bogeyed two of his last three holes en route to a two-stroke loss.
Even worse? Finau has now logged 37 top-10s since his last (and only) win on Tour at the 2018 Puerto Rico Open. Still, if there’s a silver lining for the 31-year-old, it’s that his last three finishes (T4, T2 and T2) seem to be moving him closer to a breakthrough than at any point during his current winless streak.
3) Bryson won’t quit
As you may have heard, Bryson DeChambeau has not let off his long-hitting plans — even among news that golf’s governing bodies are considering various changes to curb the sport’s distance race. The U.S. Open champ rolled into the week looking bulked as ever after telling GOLF.com he thinks he’ll put a 48-inch driver — the maximum length allowable under current USGA rules — in play at some point during the 2021 season.
It was business as usual for Bryson at the Saudi. He once again led the field in driving distance with a near 330-yard average — more than 30 yards longer than the tournament average. While his driving accuracy (32 percent) was near the bottom of the field for the week, DeChambeau managed to rack up a top-20 finish in just his second start since the Masters in November. He heads into the glut of the PGA Tour season with a pair of top-20 finishes in his first two starts of the new year.