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Johnson over Rahm's BMW heroics ahead of Tour Championship showdown

By Dom Farrell

Illinois, Sept. 3: Dustin Johnson is not dwelling upon John Rahm's sensational victory in their play-off duel at the BMW Championship as the world's top two players prepare for this week's Tour Championship.

World number one Johnson forced additional holes with a 45-foot birdie putt at the Olympia Fields Country Club on Sunday, only for Rahm to drain an improbable downhill 66-footer at the first play-off hole.

It denied Johnson back-to-back FedEx Cup victories and anticipation is palpable as the pair prepare to play together in the first round at East Lake on Friday.

Nevertheless, the 36-year-old told reporters some family time made it easy for him to switch off from a rivalry that could prove definitive.

"I flew home. I pulled in my driveway, and went upstairs and saw the kids and [his wife] Paulina," Johnson said.

"It was nice, as soon as I saw the kids you don't think about anything but them and Paulina. It was nice just to see the family because I hadn't seen them for a couple weeks, so that was a big bonus.

"But for me, as far as after what had happened at the BMW, it was just something that was going to happen.

"Jon made a great putt, but there isn't anything I can do about that. I didn't do anything wrong to lose the play-off, so for me it was easy to get over."

Johnson, who has a two-shot lead from Rahm under the staggered format of the PGA Tour's season-closing event, is relishing the Spaniard's continued company at the top of the sport.

"Obviously Jon is a great player and he has been for a while now, and he'll continue to be a really good player for years to come," he said.

"Being one of the best players in the world, he's got all the skills. He drives it well, he's a good iron player, got a good short game. That's what it takes to be one of the best players in the world.

"But I'm excited to start this week in the number-one position and to be playing with Jon in the first round. I think it's going to be a great week, and I'm looking forward to it."

Johnson added: "I think my form is very good, and I've got a lot of confidence in the game right now. I feel like over the last four or five weeks I've been very, very consistent, and I feel like every part of my game is working well."

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Story first published: Thursday, September 3, 2020, 23:30 [IST]
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