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Added August 29th, 2011 by Chalk

Dustin Johnson Up to No. 4 After Irene-Shortened Barclays Win

Dustin Johnson moved up to a career-best No. 4 in the Official World Golf Rankings with his win at The Barclays on Saturday, after the PGA Tour’s first playoff event was shortened to 54 holes because of Hurricane Irene. It was Johnson’s first win of the year and also made him the first golfer since Tiger Woods to go straight from college to the PGA Tour and win in each of his first four seasons.

Johnson’s swing coach Butch Harmon wasn’t shy about making the Tiger comparison:

One thing I like about this kid, which is a lot like Tiger, is that when we work on something, he takes it right out and puts it in play. I tell him that it was to work in the heat of battle, not just on the range. Good or bad, he’s going to try it. … We’ve both been frustrated all year that he hadn’t won. He’s been playing well tee-to-green, but his putting has let him down. But this kid is really resilient. Even if he messes up, as we’ve seen, it’s like water off a duck’s back. He keeps playing, and that’s his biggest strength. He’s a very aggressive player, and he continues to play aggressively.

“Guys like Dustin Johnson can make golf seem really easy,” said Matt Kuchar, who had the lead going into Saturday’s third and final round but had to settle for runner-up, two shots behind Johnson. “I don’t know if I’ve seen a guy drive the ball a whole lot better than Dustin Johnson. If you could have any one attribute as a golfer … you would want to hit it that far and that accurate. From there, golf gets a whole lot easier.”

Englishmen Luke Donald and Lee Westwood are still 1-2 in the world rankings, but American Steve Stricker is now at No. 3, with Germany’s Martin Kaymer down to No. 5 and Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy at No. 6. Kuchar is at No. 7, while Phil Mickelson is at No. 9. Americans now hold half the top 16 positions in the rankings.

 
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