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2015 WGC-Cadillac Championship results: What we learned from Dustin Johnson's win at Doral

Dustin Johnson is going to push Rory McIlroy, Trump Doral really makes people mad, and other things we learned this weekend in South Florida.

Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

The first WGC event of the PGA Tour season is in the books, and Dustin Johnson emerged from a leaderboard that was loaded all weekend with international stars. Here are some things we learned this week at the WGC-Cadillac Championship at Doral.

1. Dustin Johnson is coming

It didn't take long for Johnson to jump right back into the PGA Tour and start winning again after a six-month personal leave of absence (or suspension based on who you ask). Johnson was one of the few players to break 70 on Sunday and he pulled off a five-shot chasedown of 54-hole leader J.B. Holmes. This was just DJ's fifth event back, and the win now extends his streak to eight straight seasons on Tour with a victory. He's also now got as many wins as Rory McIlroy. After losing in a playoff at Riviera, Johnson bested the top 50 players in the Official World Golf Rankings, who were all in attendance at the same event for the first time since the 2012 PGA Championship. This wasn't a major win but he beat an elite field on a course that was major-championship difficult.

We've long known that Johnson is one of the most naturally talented and gifted players in the world. But for whatever reason -- his own mismanagement, bad breaks, nervy play -- he's given away multiple chances to win multiple majors. It's trite and cloying to use words like "redemption" or "refocused" when discussing DJ's instant success in his return from that leave, which included the birth of his first child and an engagement to Paulina Gretzky.

Those personal story narratives will no doubt be pounded into the ground over the next 24 hours. Hopefully that six-month leave or suspension or whatever it was kicked him in the ass and cleaned out whatever was holding him back. He was already extremely successful and talented, any improvement around the margins should mean that DJ is coming for a major this year.

2. The redesigned Doral really pisses people off

Donald Trump is probably grinning at all the angry and frustrated players panning his course. Course architect Gil Hanse may be more unsettled. Following four days of pretty treacherous golf, the re-made Blue Monster took a lot of heat from players and media afterwards on Twitter. Keegan Bradley criticized the design of the 18th hole, which is almost impossible to birdie, on Saturday night.

Bradley was just one of several world-class players in the field questioning the course. Johnny Miller repeatedly called one pin position on Sunday "unfair." But no one lit into the course more than Brandt Snedeker's caddie, who destroyed everything on his way out of town.

That is some fire rarely targeted for a non-major PGA Tour venue.

I wrote about the ups and downs of water ball golf last week after the early rounds of the Honda Classic became a bore as ball after ball plunged into the many hazards. Doral became a little ridiculous when balls that landed in the middle of the green trundled off and into the water, as Holmes found out on Friday with this unfair sequence. There was certainly an element of that this week and the water golf again became some typical Florida swing banality.

While the unending water balls and penalty strokes can get annoying, the more pointed critique of the course might be that it's only set up for one kind of golfer to succeed. It wasn't a coincidence that Holmes, Johnson and Bubba Watson were the three players primarily fighting it out down the stretch. They're well-known for their absurd length off the tee and they bombed away again this week. That they were the ones in contention late Sunday was not lost on the rest of the field.

You need to have a course where multiple styles of play can succeed, and that didn't seem to be the case this week.

Trump thought Rory McIlroy chucking his club into the water was "wonderful" so it's unlikely we see many changes that make the course any easier. If anything, he may try to make it harder. Only the Masters and the U.S. Open played more difficult last year. But that's not necessarily a good thing or what we want to see at a WGC event with the top 50 players in the world all in attendance.

3. Rory has work to do before Augusta

Well that changed quickly. It was hard to see any scenario that didn't involve McIlroy steamrolling into the Masters as the prohibitive favorite with multiple wins already earned. Regardless of what happens between now and the season's first major, Rory should stay the favorite. But his game, which looked impenetrable just a month ago after two dominant starts on the Euro Tour in the Middle East, has shown some holes over the last two weeks in South Florida.

Rory started his PGA Tour season with a lost ball off the tee and a double bogey at the Honda Classic. That was the beginning of a short two-day stay at PGA National last week. Then at Doral he couldn't break 40 on his first nine, depositing several balls in the water. It came to a head on Friday when he badly yanked a 3-iron into a lake at the 8th and then his club followed into the drink.

That toss will probably be the only thing most people remember from this tournament, but it encapsulates the frustrating turn in his game. On Sunday, he put two more in the water at the 18th and faked another club throw before chipping in to finish his week with another double bogey.

Unlike Tiger Woods, Rory's schedule is a little less predictable. We have a sense of where he'll play, but he doesn't always lock in those non-major prep tournaments. We know he's going to make his first appearance ever at Arnold Palmer's Invitational at Bay Hill in two weeks. So that will be at least one more pre-Masters start to shake off whatever has happened so far on the Florida swing.

Despite this spotty two-week stretch, Rory is still the top talent in the game and by a significant margin. However, the enthusiasm as we roll toward Augusta is tamped down a bit.

We're off to Tampa for the Valspar Championship, the "weak link" of the Florida swing. Here are the final results from the WGC-Cadillac Championship:

Place

Player

Score

1st Round

2nd Round

3rd Round

4th Round

Payout

1

Dustin Johnson

-9

68

73

69

69

$1,570,000

2

J.B. Holmes

-8

62

73

70

75

$930,000

3

Bubba Watson

-7

71

69

70

71

$540,000

T4

Adam Scott

-4

70

68

75

71

$365,000

T4

Henrik Stenson

-4

69

71

72

72

$365,000

6

Louis Oosthuizen

-3

71

74

67

73

$270,000

T7

Webb Simpson

-2

74

69

70

73

$215,000

T7

Bill Haas

-2

74

73

65

74

$215,000

T9

Kevin Na

-1

74

71

71

71

$163,333

T9

Rory McIlroy

-1

73

70

72

72

$163,333

T9

Ryan Moore

-1

66

71

74

76

$163,333

T12

Danny Willett

E

73

76

71

68

$123,000

T12

Jim Furyk

E

70

73

76

69

$123,000

T12

Rickie Fowler

E

68

77

71

72

$123,000

T12

Ryan Palmer

E

71

70

74

73

$123,000

T12

Lee Westwood

E

71

72

70

75

$123,000

T17

Jordan Spieth

1

75

69

73

72

$97,500

T17

Marc Warren

1

73

75

69

72

$97,500

T17

Brandt Snedeker

1

74

73

70

72

$97,500

T17

Brooks Koepka

1

69

74

73

73

$97,500

T17

Morgan Hoffmann

1

73

71

71

74

$97,500

T17

Shane Lowry

1

71

74

70

74

$97,500

T23

Gary Woodland

2

70

74

76

70

$83,000

T23

Hideki Matsuyama

2

76

72

72

70

$83,000

T23

Thomas Aiken

2

78

69

72

71

$83,000

T23

Matt Kuchar

2

73

75

70

72

$83,000

T23

Ross Fisher

2

78

71

69

72

$83,000

T23

Brendon Todd

2

72

73

72

73

$83,000

T23

Mikko Ilonen

2

78

72

67

73

$83,000

T23

Patrick Reed

2

71

73

71

75

$83,000

T31

Jason Day

3

76

74

70

71

$72,000

T31

Bernd Wiesberger

3

74

74

71

72

$72,000

T31

Phil Mickelson

3

74

74

71

72

$72,000

T31

Martin Kaymer

3

71

76

71

73

$72,000

T31

John Senden

3

73

70

74

74

$72,000

T31

Jimmy Walker

3

71

76

70

74

$72,000

T31

Sergio Garcia

3

73

69

71

78

$72,000

T38

Marcel Siem

4

78

72

75

67

$65,500

T38

Keegan Bradley

4

73

74

75

70

$65,500

T38

Alexander Levy

4

68

73

79

72

$65,500

T38

Paul Casey

4

75

73

72

72

$65,500

T38

Cameron Tringale

4

73

74

72

73

$65,500

T38

Charley Hoffman

4

70

74

72

76

$65,500

T44

Jamie Donaldson

5

70

72

76

75

$61,500

T44

Charl Schwartzel

5

71

72

75

75

$61,500

T46

Billy Horschel

6

72

75

75

72

$59,000

T46

Joost Luiten

6

79

69

73

73

$59,000

T46

Sang-Moon Bae

6

75

71

73

75

$59,000

T49

Ian Poulter

7

74

78

71

72

$55,000

T49

Zach Johnson

7

76

73

73

73

$55,000

T49

Luke Donald

7

72

76

74

73

$55,000

T49

Greg Chalmers

7

77

72

73

73

$55,000

T49

Jason Dufner

7

79

71

71

74

$55,000

54

Branden Grace

8

75

74

72

75

$52,000

55

Justin Rose

9

73

74

73

77

$51,000

T56

Chris Kirk

10

76

77

73

72

$48,000

T56

Alexander Noren

10

73

77

74

74

$48,000

T56

Robert Streb

10

72

80

72

74

$48,000

T56

Graeme McDowell

10

73

73

75

77

$48,000

T56

Russell Henley

10

74

74

72

78

$48,000

61

Geoff Ogilvy

11

74

76

74

75

$45,500

T62

Steven Jeffress

12

75

74

78

73

$44,750

T62

David Lipsky

12

74

73

76

77

$44,750

T62

Victor Dubuisson

12

72

73

70

85

$44,750

65

Hunter Mahan

14

75

79

74

74

$44,250

T66

Stephen Gallacher

15

84

72

78

69

$43,875

T66

Danie van Tonder

15

74

74

75

80

$43,875

68

Koumei Oda

16

74

78

73

79

$43,500

69

Thongchai Jaidee

17

80

73

76

76

$43,250

70

Gary Stal

18

75

79

77

75

$43,000

T71

Anirban Lahiri

19

80

76

74

77

$42,625

T71

Tommy Fleetwood

19

77

77

73

80

$42,625

73

Hiroyuki Fujita

27

75

83

78

79

$42,250