Irmo's Dustin Johnson opens 2018 with PGA Tournament victory

Dustin Johnson

A new year brought out the best in Dustin Johnson, who powered his way to an 8-under 65 and an eight-shot victory Sunday in the Sentry Tournament of Champions.

Brian Harman, who started the day two shots behind Johnson atop the leaderboard, closed with a one-under 72 for sole possession of third place on 277.

If his ball had consented to drop on the 12 in Kapalua, Johnson would have become just the player in PGA Tour history to make an ace on anything other than a par three (emulating Andrew Magee's feat at the Phoenix Open in 2001).

Besides the U.S. Open, in 2016 Johnson won the WGC-Bridgestone (a World Golf Championship event) and the BMW Championship, part of the Tour's FedEx Cup playoffs.

There's no doubt Johnson hit a monster shot off the tee, but you also can't deny a few lucky bounces there. Johnson has a short memory, and he never thought about China until it was mentioned to him on Saturday.

"I knew I was playing well, and it's a golf course I'm really comfortable on", Johnson said.

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Last season Johnson won four times, marking the best year of his career, and he said in Hawaii that he believed it was possible for somebody to win eight times or more in a year.

Of that drive at the 12th he said:"I could see it until it landed, and I knew that it was on a good line". "I know exactly where I want it to come down out of the air, and it did".

He said: "I still got a lot of work to do".

I think you're being a tad harsh on yourself, here. I told myself to get it to 25.

Johnson went 66-65 on the weekend. He rebounded strongly with the monster drive at the 12th and padded his lead with three straight birdies at Nos. "Everything is going in the right direction".

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