That “Uh-oh” is directed at the rest of the players on the PGA Tour.
They better sit up and take notice.
Dustin Johnson sent out an incredibly strong statement Sunday at Kapalua’s Plantation course. He sent out a message that he’s armed and ready to dominate a field anytime he shows up with his “A” game in his bag.
Johnson poured it on early Sunday and turned the final round of the Tournament Of Champions into a rout, a runaway, a blowout, a romp — whatever you want to call it, he simply humiliated any and all challengers.
He didn’t waste any time letting the rest of the guys know who the best player on the course was out there in Maui, far from the freezing mainland temperatures that paralyzed so many cities for the past week.
D.J. did to the rest of the field what the snow and cold did to those cities. He shut them down.
Johnson put everyone on notice. All he did was shoot 24-under par, eight of it came on Sunday when he shot the best round of the tournament — 65.
“When I saw he was 20-under at the turn, I was just trying to finish second,” said Jon Rahm, the world’s fourth-ranked player who did finish second at 16-under and got beat by eight in the process.
Consider that D.J. beat world’s No. 2 Jordan Spieth by 12 and No. 3 Justin Thomas by a whopping 20 shots. No hope for that title defense. Good news for J.T. is that D.J. won’t be at Waialae this coming week. In fact, that’s great news for everyone in the tour’s first full-field event of the season.
D.J. was pretty serious about being prepared for his season debut.
He left Jupiter early, made a stop in Las Vegas to spend time with his swing coach — Butch Harmon. Then Johnson got to Maui a week early to make sure he was comfortable with his equipment. He has the new TaylorMade M4 driver in the bag.
Some clowns at The Golf Channel tried to remind D.J. of his final round face flop late last year in China when Justin Rose overtook him the last day.
Johnson would have none of it. He reminded them he has a short memory when it comes to stuff like that and made sure he put the hammer down hard, early and often Sunday.
He ran roughshod over playing partner Brian Harman, who started the day just two back of Johnson. But two grew to four by the third hole and he was six clear of Harman by the turn.
D.J.’s only hiccup of the day came when he bogeyed the 11th but then made a spectacular bounce-back at the 429-yard 12th when his drive nearly found the cup, leaving him a six-inch eagle tap-in.
At that point, it was just a matter of how low he’d really go and what the final margin of victory would be.
“I was 20-under, at that point my goal was to get it to 25,” Johnson recalled after the smoke cleared.
He also proved a great ambassador for his equipment sponsor. “I used the M4. The new technology, twist face, my misses are barely off line. The driver pretty much goes where I’m aiming it.”
The check from TaylorMade is in the mail.
In the meantime, the bad news is that Johnson says he’s still got work to do.
You get the feeling he was embarrassed by his overall performance in the majors last year when he was forced to withdraw from The Masters, missed the cut at the U.S. Open, didn’t break an egg at the Open Championship and couldn’t crack the top 10 at the PGA.
“I’m in good form but I still have a lot of work to do, a lot to improve,” Johnson added.
And with that in mind, all we can say for the rest of the guys out there is: