Dustin Johnson held off a brilliant fightback from Jon Rahm to become the first player to win all four World Golf Championships and just the second to claim back-to-back victories in the coveted events.
The world No 1 also claimed his third tournament victory in a row as he beat Spaniard Rahm by one hole in a thrilling title tussle at Austin Country Club, where Johnson never trailed at any point in his seven matches.
“There’s a lot of great players and I’m the first one to win all four WGCs,” said Johnson, who emulated Tiger Woods as he made it consecutive World Golf Championship wins, having also claimed the Mexico Championship earlier in the month. “I’m very, very pleased with it.”
The American now heads into The Masters as the favourite to claim his second major when the season’s opening major gets underway at Augusta National on Thursday week.
“I’ve got a lot of confidence in the game right now, feel like I am driving the ball great, I’m wedging it well,” he added.
“I can work on the mid-irons a bit, but we can work on those next week after I take a couple of days off.
“Being the No 1 player in the world kind of drives me to work harder and to get better.”
Rahm, who was making just his second WGC start, mounted a spirited fightback from five down after eight holes in the final to take Johnson all the way to the 18th.
Indeed, extra holes looked on the cards when Rahm drove to the back edge of the 18th green only for a poor chip from the 22-year-old to allow Johnson to secure the title with a par.
Rahm later blamed a loud noise, reported as a slamming portable toilet door. “That’s absolutely why I missed it,” he told the Golf Channel. “I lost focus with my head, chunked it and left it short.”
The Spaniard has now finished third and second in his two WGC appearances since joining the European Tour at the beginning of this month.
He is projected to jump from 26th to 14th when the world rankings are updated today and is now second in the Race to Dubai Rankings behing England’s Tommy Fleetwood.
“I’m really proud of what I did, it was a great week,” he said. “I’m thrilled I’m going to have a chance to maybe play in the Ryder Cup. It’s just the beginning of the season, so it’s all good to come.”
Since his maiden PGA Tour victory in the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines in California two months ago, Rahm has finished 16th, fifth, third and second.
Praising his opponent, Johnson said: “He played tough. He’s a great player, he’s going to be a great player out here for a long time.”
South Korea’s Mirim Lee stormed to a six-shot success in the Kia Classic in California.
The world No 21 carded a closing seven-under par 65 to finish well clear of compatriot So Yeon Ryu and American Austin Ernst.
Lee’s winning total of 20-under 268 matched the tournament record set by Cristie Kerr in 2015, when Lee finished runner-up.
“It’s been a long time to be winner of the tournament, so I kind of nervous before I start of game. But I try to focus and then gives me good result,” Lee told lpga.com through a translator.
“When I practiced this course I think tee shot was most important thing, so I focused on good tee shot so that makes this good result.”
Scottish No 1 Catriona Matthew closed with a 71 for a five-under-par 283 total, tying for 35th and winning $10,176.
Edinburgh-based American Beth Allen signed off with a 70 for 286, earning $5,956 as she ended in a share of 49th in her hometown event.
America D.A. Points claimed his third PGA Tour victory with a two-shot success in the Puerto Rico Open.
Points opened the final round with five straight birdies en route to carding a six-under 66 for a 20-under-par 268 aggregate.
Two-time US Open champion Retief Goosen (64), Bill Lunde (68) and Bryson DeChambeau (67) tied for second at Coco Beach Golf and Country Club..
Former Walker Cup player Casey Wittenburg won the Web.com Tour’s Chitimacha Louisiana Open.
He finished on 21-under after a last-round 69, winning by three shots from China’s Xinjun Zhang (65).
It was a first victory in close to five years for Wittenburg, who played in the Walker Cup at Ganton in 2003.
Jimmy Gunn missed the cut after rounds of 72 and 70.
Bradley Neil was probably the player out of five Scots in the field to take most out of the opening Challenge Tour event of the season - the Barclays Kenya Open.
It followed the 21-year-old from Blairgowrie climbing up 10 spots on the final day after a closing 68 at Muthaiga Golf Club in Nairobi.
The five-birdie effort saw Neil finish joint-29th on six-under in an event won by Aaron Rai.
The Englishman signed off with a 65 to finish three shots clear of the field on 17-under in claiming his breakthrough success on the circuit.
Neil ended up alongside Chris Doak (70), the pair finishing two shots ahead of Craig Lee (72) with David Law (70) four shots further back.
A glorious day produced some low scoring in the opening round of the Scottish Students Championships at Moray.
Matching three-under 67s on the New Course at the Lossiemouth venue saw Stirling’s Laird Shepherd and Ricardo Cellerino (University of Highlands and Islands) set the pace in the men’s event.
And, in the women’s tournament, defending champion Gemma Batty opened with a four-under 71 on the Old Course, as did her Stirling team-mate Sinead Sexton.
A closing five-under 66 secured a top-10 finish for Philip McLean in the Pro Golf Tour’s Ocean Open in Morocco.
The Peterhead player finished joint-eighth in an event in Agadir won by Dutchman Dylan Boshart.