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Dominant Johnson sets sights on long reign at No 1


Johnson: Back to his best

Johnson: Back to his best

Johnson: Back to his best

Dustin Johnson returned to the top of the world golf rankings with an utterly dominant performance in the Northern Trust and insisted he's keen to end the musical chairs and install himself on the throne for the foreseeable future.

The laidback former US Open champion (36) won the second Playoff event by a whopping 11 strokes on 30-under par to go to the top of the FedEx Cup standings and leapfrog Jon Rahm, Justin Thomas and Rory McIlroy and become the fifth player to hold the No 1 ranking this year.

"It's something that I'm very proud of to be No 1 in the world, and I'd like to stay there for a little while," said Johnson, who spent 64 weeks as No 1 when he first took over from Justin Rose in 2017.

"Obviously it's been jumping around a bunch here the last few months, but you know, the last time I was No 1, I think I stayed there for quite some time, and that's another goal of mine is just to see how long I can stay at No 1."

Meanwhile, five-time European Tour winner Michael Hoey and local hope Dermot McElroy are among 14 Irish golfers in next week's Northern Ireland Open supported by The R&A at Galgorm Castle in Ballymena.

"It will be great to see the likes of Open champion Shane Lowry tee it up here in the Irish Open in a few weeks," Hoey said of the countdown to the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open from September 24-27.

"Galgorm will look great on TV. They have all the facilities, and the hotel is perfect, everyone knows how good the set-up is."

In amateur golf, 16 Irish golfers will tee it up when the Amateur Championship at Royal Birkdale and the Women's Amateur Championship at West Lancashire get under way today.

Players resident in the Republic of Ireland were advised to withdraw from the Amateur Championship by the GUI, but while title-holder James Sugrue and Walker Cup player Caolan Rafferty heeded the recommendation, the trip has proved irresistible to Marc Boucher, Paul Conroy, Hugh Foley, Rowan Lester, Robert Moran, Peter McKeever and Mark Power, who join Northern Ireland residents Matthew McClean and Tom McKibbin and France-based Michael Young in Southport.

While the field has been reduced to just 120 European players due to Covid-19 travel restrictions, all will have their eyes on the Major starts in The Open, the US Open and the Masters awarded to the winner.

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Six Irishwomen will be chasing similar rewards when they play in the Women's Amateur at West Lancashire, with Northern Ireland residents Beth Coulter, Paula Grant, Katie Poots and Jessica Ross joined in the field by East Berkshire's Laura Webb and Castletroy's Chloe Ryan, who both reside in England.

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