PACIFIC PALISADES, CA. – Dustin Johnson and his fiancée, Paulina Gretzky, announced Saturday they are expecting their second child, they have a new puppy and by Sunday evening, Johnson may have a new world ranking.
If Johnson wins the rain-soaked Genesis Open at Riviera Country Club – he starts a grinding double-round Sunday with a one-stroke lead over Pat Perez and Cameron Tringale – he could ascend to No. 1 in the world if current No. 1 Jason Day finishes no better than a three-way tie for third.
Day was tied for 40th place, eight off the lead after 36 holes.
“Everything’s going very well right now,” said Johnson, coming off his player-of-the-year season in 2016.
Johnson will face 36 holes Sunday – it could be a tight race with sunset to complete the tournament that was disrupted by Friday’s torrential rain – but he goes into the day with a comfort level few have at Riviera.
Since 2010, Johnson has five top-four finishes in the Genesis Open. He finished second in 2014, lost a playoff to James Hahn in 2015 and finished fourth last year.
All that’s missing is a trophy.
“I want to win this tournament,” Johnson said. “Whether I get to No. 1 or not doesn’t affect me at all.”
On a soggy Saturday when the second round was completed, Johnson grabbed the lead with a flurry of birdies at the end of his round. He made a 35-foot birdie putt at No. 15, holed a 9-footer for birdie at the par-5 17th and closed with a 20-footer at No. 18.