There is probably only one golfer on the planet who can be 6 shots ahead off the field going into the last round of the WGC Champions event in Shanghai and still lose and his name is Dustin Johnson. When I awoke at 7, you could not get a bet on Justin Ross as he was so far behind DJ who was 1-4 but, with 5 bogeys, the Carolinian contrived to lose this tourney and me 90 sovreigns of winnings as I had backed him at 9-1. I was so sure that I backed the winner that I had almost spent it. I laid a few protective quid on Brooks Koepka, who bombed too. To make something something back I laid Southampton after they took the lead as I thought Brighton might get the draw that they did.
DJ can destroy golf courses with his A game of 330 yard driving and much improved pitching – he is coached by Butch Harman. Golf is a mental game and no one can lose his head better than DJ. A Tiger Woods or Nick Faldo or Gary Player would have played the last round in boring regulation pars. Not DJ who went for ridiculous shots. His golf ball finished anywhere or everywhere except on the fairway and on the final hole he destroyed all hopes when it landed in the water. Any feelings of bitterness about a lost bet were equalled by the contentment that Justin Rose, one of the most courteous and likeable of golfers, had won his first event for two years with a measured game coming from nowhere. He carded a 67, 10 shots better than DJ’s 77, with a last nine of 31. He has now won in every year since 2010. With Paul Casey agreeing to play the European Tour for a place, our Ryder Cup chances look a tad more encouraging.