Talk of Golf: Dustin Johnson kicks 2018 off in style as he comes within inches of stunning hole-in-one

Dustin Johnson was triumphant in Hawaii on the weekend Credit: getty images

Who needs fireworks to welcome the new year when Dustin Johnson has his own rockets?

If golf was excited by what could lie in store for 2018 then the world No 1 only heightened the anticipation with his extraordinary 433-yard drive which came within a few inches of a hole-in-one on a par four.

If his ball had consented to drop on the 12th in Kapalua, Johnson would have become just the player in PGA Tour history to make an ace on anything other than a par three (emulating Andrew Magee’s feat at the Phoenix Open in 2001).

Not that Johnson was moaning after his eight-shot triumph in the Sentry Tournament of Champions. In typical nonchalant fashion, he remarked “I hit it a little thin”, before grinning and confessing, “I hit it perfectly”. Indeed, he was almost faultless in Hawaii all week, as he emphasised that he remains the man to beat this campaign.

He has the power to bludgeon the best field...

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