Dustin Johnson still enjoying being world No 1 after one full year
By Keith Jackson
Last Updated: 15/02/18 9:39am
Dustin Johnson is celebrating a year as world No 1 and revealed his desire to stay at the top of the rankings has inspired him to work harder on his game.
Johnson ended Jason Day's 47-week stay as world No 1 when he cruised to a five-shot victory at the Genesis Open 12 months ago, the first of three consecutive wins for the 2016 US Open champion.
His winning run came to an end in unfortunate circumstances at the Masters, when he was forced to withdraw minutes before his first-round tee time after suffering a back injury in a fall at his rented house on the eve of the tournament.
Johnson did not win again until The Northern Trust in August, and he kicked off 2018 with a dominant eight-shot win over current world No 2 Jon Rahm at the Sentry Tournament of Champions in Hawaii.
The 33-year-old is a strong favourite to extend his lead with a successful defence of his title at Riviera this week, although he admitted he does not quite understand the complexities of the world rankings when he checks them every Monday.
"Yeah I check the rankings, it's nice seeing my name at the top, so I look at it on Mondays usually," he joked at his pre-tournament press conference. "That's about it though, just to see, see what's going on. I still don't really understand them but I can read, you know, 'one'!
"But it is nice and it's been a tough year, obviously. Starting here, I was playing really, really well and then the injury at Augusta kind of derailed me a little bit. But I'm battling back and I feel my game is finally starting to come in a really good form.
"It's definitely difficult to stay No 1. The guys out here are very, very good and there's a lot of very talented players, but I use it as motivation to keep working harder and to keep doing the things I'm doing."
Tiger Woods continues his comeback from injury this week following his encouraging performance at Torrey Pines last month, and Johnson is delighted to see the 14-time major champion in the field.
"Well, yeah, golf wouldn't be where it is today without Tiger so you know it's great to see him back," Johnson added. "It's great to see him competing again. I've played with him a couple of times and he's hitting it well, he's swinging well, he looks healthy so it's good for the game of golf, him being here.
"It can only help us and we've got a lot to thank Tiger for because he definitely put golf on the map for us."
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