You can pinpoint the exact moment Dustin Johnson won the PGA Tour Player of the Year Award this season.
It happened on the 69th hole of the BMW Championship after Paul Casey had cut Johnson’s lead to one stroke with an eagle. There were three holes left for Johnson to try and snag his third win of the season in addition to his U.S. Open and Bridgestone Invitational titles.
Johnson poured in a long putt for eagle on top of Casey to extend the lead back to three strokes and cruised home to the trophy and (more than likely) that Player of the Year award, which will be handed out after the Tour Championship in two weeks.
Johnson is ranked No. 1 going into the Tour Championship and controls his own destiny when it comes to the FedEx Cup. If he wins at the Tour Championship, he also earns $10 million for winning the FedEx Cup. Johnson has now won three times in a season for the first time in his career, and he has been the best golfer in the world for most (if not all) of 2016.
“I think I played really solid,” Johnson told NBC after beating Casey by three at the BMW Championship at Crooked Stick. “Drove it nicely, wedged it good. Couple of bad misses, but other than that I played really solid all week. I have a lot of confidence in every part of my game. … I put in a new putter, and it really worked this week.”
That it did. Johnson used his TaylorMade Spider to finish No. 2 in the field in putting. You’re not going to beat Johnson when he’s No. 2 in the field in putting. It’s just not going to happen very often. To pile on, Johnson was also No. 1 in the field in strokes gained off the tee and set the BMW Championship scoring record (the BMW Championship has been around since the 1800s).
.@DJohnsonPGA: 1st PGA Tour winner this season to rank 1st or 2nd in BOTH strokes gained tee-to-green & strokes gained putting
— Justin Ray (@JustinRayGC) September 11, 2016
Johnson has left his mark on this season in the exact way almost every Player of the Year winner has — a major winner (for the first time), WGC winner and FedEx Cup Playoff winner in the third event of the playoffs. It has been impressive and really built on what is becoming an all-time resume. The win at Crooked Stick was Johnson’s 12th of his career. Only Tiger Woods has more wins since 2008.
Now Johnson will try and replicate something else only Woods has done: Win the Tour Championship as the No. 1 player in the FedEx Cup points race going into the final event. He will also likely accomplish Woods has done an astonishing 10 times, which is take home the Player of the Year hardware at season’s end. He deserves it, too. Nobody has been quite as good as Dustin Johnson in 2016. Grade: A+
Here are the rest of our grades for the BMW Championship.
Jordan Spieth: Spieth just cannot quite get over the hump. He finished 30th in strokes gained in his approach shots, which has been his downfall for much of the season. A solo ninth-place finish at Crooked Stick is fine, and he has put himself in position to repeat as the Tour Championship and FedEx Cup winner in two weeks (he’s currently No. 7 in the FedEx Cup). But he seems just a little off. As we all know, that can change in golf in the blink of an eye, and I’m sure Spieth is aiming to peak at East Lake and the Ryder Cup. I’m just not totally sure that’s going to happen like it did last year. Grade: B+
Jason Day: Day withdrew with a back injury halfway through his round on Sunday afternoon at Crooked Stick. It was an unfortunate ending for the week but likely won’t have much bearing on the final outcome of his season. He will be in the top five going into the Tour Championship, which means a win gets him $10 million. That’s a pretty good spot to be in. Grade: Incomplete
Rory McIlroy: McIlroy disappointed this week with only one round in the 60s. He slid out of the top five (albeit only to sixth) and no longer controls his own destiny at the Tour Championship. His putting stunk again as he was No. 68 in a field of 68 in strokes gained with the flat stick.
I really thought last week’s win at the Deutsche Bank Championship was the start of a big time roll to close the season by McIlroy. He could still win the Tour Championship to salvage what has been a mildly disappointing year (for him), but that got slightly more difficult with the T42 finish at Crooked Stick. Grade: C+
Paul Casey: Casey has now finished runner up in each of the last two weeks and leaped ahead of McIlroy in the FedEx Cup points race. He’s in the top five and controls his own destiny for the $10 million bonus at East Lake. He’ll take it with a win. He could also legitimately have two wins this week if not for all-time performances by McIlroy (at the Deutsche Bank Championship) and Johnosn (at the BMW Championship). Grade: A
With another runner-up finish, Casey will have made $1.836 million in last 2 weeks. That’s $25,000 less than Arnold Palmer made in career.
— Doug Ferguson (@dougferguson405) September 11, 2016
Source: CBS Sports / Grades: Dustin Johnson locks up Player of the Year with BMW Championship win