By Jay Betsill
Much of the talk centering around the start of 2018 on the PGA Tour has focused on childhood friends Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas, Rory McIlroy and the return of Tiger Woods at Torrey Pines.
Fans can go ahead and add world No. 1 Dustin Johnson to that conversation as he overpowered the Plantation Course at Kapalua for an eight-shot victory over the elite field comprised of 2017 PGA Tour winners at the Sentry Tournament of Champions.
Johnson closed with an 8-under 65 that included a near-ace on the Par 4, 433-yard 12th hole.
“I came out today with a lot of focus and I knew I wanted to play really well and not even,” Johnson said. “I didn’t want it to have to come down to the last couple holes.”
With his 17th career PGA Tour win, Johnson joins Stuart Appleby and Geoff Ogilvy as the only multiple winners at Kapalua.
Jon Rahm was the runner-up and moved up to No. 3 in the world rankings.
Defending champion Justin Thomas finished at 4-under in a tie for 22nd.
2016 champion Jordan Spieth finished in ninth place at 12-under.
Next week on the PGA Tour is the Sony Open in Hawaii. Big names in the field include defending champion Justin Thomas, Jordan Spieth, Brian Harman, defending Colonial champion Kevin Kisner, Jason Dufner and Zach Johnson.