Being No. 1 in the world does not equate to being invincible.
Though Tiger Woods once made us believe the opposite is true, Dustin Johnson showed the vulnerability of every golfer, no matter his station, at the WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai on Sunday.
Leading by six strokes through 54 holes, the 33-year-old American bogeyed the first two holes and couldn’t right the ship. In the meantime, Justin Rose rocketed past Johnson with five back-nine birdies and hoisted the trophy.
The 37-year-old Englishman added another blue-chip title to a résumé that now boasts an Olympic gold medal, a U.S. Open title, two World Golf Championships and victory in a FedEx Cup playoff event. And though Johnson projects a water-off-a-duck’s-back way, he must have felt Sunday a little like he did after slipping down the stairs in Augusta in April.
In Malaysia, Cristie Kerr won the LPGA’s Sime Darby-sponsored tournament there with a long-range birdie on the 72nd hole. But the story of the week revolved around the plight of a 16-year-old Massachusetts girl who shot the low score while competing for her high school team in a boys’ district tournament but was denied a trophy – and a state-championship berth – by a state interscholastic athletic association rule stipulating that only boys can win the tournament’s individual crown.
To her credit, Emily Nash took the slight – and the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association’s subsequent tone-deaf defense of its policy – in stride. And by week’s end, her story had become a cause célèbre in golf, with notables from Curtis Strange to Annika Sörenstam tweeting about it and the LPGA producing a video showing multiple players encouraging Nash and highlighting the hashtag the brouhaha begot: #EmilyWon.