Sports

Dustin Johnson survives wind in Hawaii

Dustin Johnson holds aloft the Champions trophy after holding off Steve Stricker.
e. thompson/associated press
Dustin Johnson holds aloft the Champions trophy after holding off Steve Stricker.

KAPALUA, Hawaii — Dustin Johnson ended a windy week with a wild ride Tuesday that carried him to the first win of the PGA Tour season.

Despite hitting two drives into native areas that cost him three shots, Johnson never lost the lead at Kapalua. He closed with a 5-under-par 68 for a four-shot victory in the Tournament of Champions, though it was up for grabs with five holes remaining.

Stricker came within a fraction of an inch of tying for the lead until his birdie putt peeled away from the cup on the 13th hole, which Johnson chopped up for a double bogey. With only a one-shot lead, Johnson pitched in from 50 feet in front of the 14th green to restore his three-shot lead, and Stricker never challenged him after that.

Advertisement

And so, the tournament that didn’t start until the fourth day because of a powerful wind finally ended with a guy who overpowered the Plantation Course.

Get Sports Headlines in your inbox:
The Globe's most recent sports headlines delivered to your inbox every morning.
Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here

Johnson, who finished at 16-under 203, won for the sixth straight season. Only Phil Mickelson with nine straight years has a longer active streak of most consecutive seasons with a PGA Tour victory.

‘‘He’s very athletic, and he’s just going to continue to get better,’’ Stricker said. ‘‘It’s fun to watch. You never know what he’s going to do, and he’s got a lot of talent.’’

Johnson also added a peculiar footnote to his record. He now has won the last three PGA Tour events reduced to 54 holes because of weather — rain at Pebble Beach in 2009, a hurricane at The Barclays in 2011, and gusts that topped 40 miles per hour in Hawaii from a freak weather pattern that led to a bizarre season opener.

Johnson moved to No. 12 in the world ranking.

Advertisement

Brandt Snedeker went 5 under during a four-hole stretch on the front nine to get within one shot of the lead until he closed out the front nine with three straight bogeys. Snedeker had a 69 and finished alone in third, six shots behind. He moved to No. 8 in the world ranking, second only to Woods among Americans.

Masters champion Bubba Watson (71) and former PGA champion Keegan Bradley (70) were another shot back.

Johnson overcame the first threat from Snedeker with back-to-back birdies, and just like that, he was ahead by five and looked unbeatable.

‘‘It was nowhere near ho-hum,’’ Johnson said. ‘‘I had to really fight hard.’’

And he had no one to blame but himself.

Advertisement

Johnson hit driver on the 13th and pulled it enough to land into a bunker and tumble into a native area of high grass, trees and plenty more. He found the ball, but it took two swings to get it back in play, and he had to two-putt from about 50 feet just to escape with double bogey. He thought his lead was gone as he watched Stricker, so smooth with a putter in hand, stand over his 20-foot birdie putt. It turned away at the last second.