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Sunday, 24 February 2019
Dustin Johnson  (Getty Images)
Dustin Johnson (Getty Images)

Dustin Johnson won his second European Tour title of the season as he cruised to a stunning five shot victory at the WGC-Mexico Championship.

The American is the only player to have won all four World Golf Championships events and he took his tally to six at Chapultepec Golf Club with a third triumph in this event.

He began the final day with a four shot lead and while Rory McIlroy cut that gap to two in the early stages, Johnson recovered from just a second blemish of the week to sign for a 66 and finish at 21 under.

Johnson has now won in consecutive starts on the European Tour after his victory at the Saudi International powered by SBIA and will move up to second in the Official World Golf Ranking.

"This is a big one for me and it gives me a lot of confidence for the rest of the year," he said. "I feel like the game's in good form right now.

"It's been a little bit since I've been in the lead with this kind of field and this calibre of players. I know Rory's playing really well, he was not too far behind me so I definitely felt some nerves there at the beginning of the day.

"I made some really good par saves early in the round on the front nine and that kind of gave me the momentum. I knew I was still swinging it well, I just had to give myself some chances and turned it on on the back nine. Me and Rory both played a really good back nine."

McIlroy put on an excellent show of his own, making six birdies on the back nine in a 67, but still had to settle for a sixth runner-up finish since his last European Tour win at the 2016 Dubai Duty Free Irish Open hosted by his own foundation.

"It was good," he said. "Some weeks you play well and someone just plays better and that's what DJ did this week. When DJ has got a four shot lead and goes out and shoots five under par, he's not going to lose.

"My game is right there, I'm really happy with everything. I've just got to stay patient, look at the positives and just keep persisting, putting myself in positions and sooner or later it'll go my way."

Thai Kiradech Aphibarnrat and English pair Paul Casey and Ian Poulter were then ten shots off the lead in a distant tie for third, one clear of American Patrick Cantlay, Spaniard Sergio Garcia and Australian Cameron Smith.

McIlroy played a lovely chip from just short of the second green to set up a birdie and when Johnson failed to get up and down from a greenside bunker on the third, the lead was down to two.

The Northern Irishman bogeyed the fourth after going right off the tee and had to play left-handed from behind a tree on the sixth, finding water with his third en route to another dropped shot.

Johnson holed from nine feet on the same hole and a pitch to four feet on the tenth handed him a six shot lead.

The leading duo then found another gear, both men taking advantage of the par five 11th before McIlroy trimmed the lead to five from ten feet on the next.

The duo powered clear of the field from the 14th, both making a hat-trick of birdies by sandwiching gains at the par five 15th with smart putts on the 14th and excellent approaches to the 16th.

McIlroy put his tee-shot to ten feet on the par three 17th but gave the shot back with a three-putt from the fringe on the last.

Casey had matched the lowest round of the day on Saturday with a 65 and he matched that total to complete a brilliant 12 under weekend. He started with three birdies and added further gains on the sixth, tenth, 11th and 16th, with a single bogey on the 13th.

Poulter has not finished lower than sixth in his four European Tour events so far this season and he carded a 68, making four birdies on the back nine after turning in 36.

Aphibarnrat finished with three birdies in a 68 of his own for a second consecutive top five finish at this event.

Cantlay, Garcia and Smith all signed for one under rounds of 70.

American Justin Thomas matched his own course record with a 62 to finish at nine under, a shot clear of Dutchman Joost Luiten, who finished his week with an impressive 64.

Keegan Bradley, Alfred Dunhill Championship winner David Lipsky and 14 time Major Champion Tiger Woods were also 13 shots off the lead.

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1JOHNSON, DustinUSA18-21
2MCILROY, RoryNIR18-16
T3CASEY, PaulENG18-11
T3APHIBARNRAT, KiradechTHA18-11
T3POULTER, IanENG18-11
T6GARCIA, SergioESP18-10

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