Back on top: Dustin Johnson acknowledges fans after his eagles on the 18th. With the win he reclaimed top spot. Picture: AFP
Back on top: Dustin Johnson acknowledges fans after his eagles on the 18th. With the win he reclaimed top spot. Picture: AFP

Memphis — Dustin Johnson reclaimed the world No1 ranking by cruising to a six-shot victory in the FedEx St Jude Classic in Tennessee on Sunday.

The 33-year-old, knocked off the top of the rankings in May by fellow American Justin Thomas, mixed three birdies, a bogey and a stunning final-hole eagle to finish on 19 under par.

It was Johnson’s 18th career PGA Tour victory and his second at the St Jude Classic, which he also won in 2012.

He finished with a flourish when his 171-yard second shot on the par-four 18th found the bottom of the cup, sending the crowd at the TPC Southwind in Memphis into a frenzy on a sweltering day.

"What a cool way to end the day to hole that shot on 18," Johnson said. "I knew coming in this week that I was swinging really well and had a lot of confidence in my game. I played well all week."

Johnson had led the rankings for 15 months before Thomas took over him on May 13 and the win also moved him into second place in the PGA FedEx Cup standings. He started the day tied with Andrew Putnam but he stumbled with a double bogey on the par-four first hole.

Although Putnam went bogey free for the final 13 holes, he was unable to match Johnson’s brilliance and finished on 13 under par.

JB Holmes had five birdies and two bogeys for a final round 67 to end in third place. Stewart Cink and Richy Werenski tied for fourth at eight under par.

Johnson will be among the favourites to win the US Open starting on Thursday at the Shinnecock Hills Golf Course in New York and he is confident of repeating his 2016 victory.

"I feel like my game is in good shape," he said. "I’m driving it well, I’m hitting my irons well, my wedges are good, so I’m really looking forward to going into next week."

Reuters

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