Miami, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - Dustin Johnson closed with a 3-under 69 on Sunday as he came from behind to win the WGC-Cadillac Championship by one stroke.
Johnson finished at 9-under-par 279. This was his eighth PGA Tour win and second title on the European Tour, both of which were World Golf Championship victories.
The win came in Johnson's fifth start after returning from a 6-month leave of absence from the PGA Tour. He had missed the cut in two of his previous four starts, finished fourth at Pebble Beach and lost in a playoff at the Northern Trust Open.
"It means a lot. Obviously it's one of my biggest wins, and especially after a long layoff, to come back out and win in my fifth start means a lot," said Johnson. "I've been working hard on my game and been working hard on me, and so it means a great deal to have some success right out of the gate. It gives me a lot of confidence, too."
J.B. Holmes, who led after each of the first three rounds, had three early bogeys before he played the final 12 holes in even-par to close with a 3-over 75. Holmes ended alone in second place at minus-8.
Bubba Watson birdied four of the first seven holes in the final round to grab a 2-shot lead, but three bogeys on the back nine at Trump National Doral left him two back at 7-under-par 281. Watson shot 1-under 71 in the final round.
Adam Scott (71) and Henrik Stenson (72) shared fourth at minus-4. Louis Oosthuizen stumbled to a 1-over 73 and ended alone in sixth place at 3-under 285. Bill Haas (74) and Webb Simpson (73) were one stroke back at minus-2.
World No. 1 Rory McIlroy found water twice at the 18th before chipping in for double-bogey. He managed an even-par 72 and shared ninth place at 1-under 287 with Kevin Na (71) and Ryan Moore (76).
Holmes led by five to start the round, but struggled to three bogeys in a 4- hole span form the third. Not only did Holmes fall back to the pack, he dropped out of the lead entirely as Watson was hot early.
Watson rolled in a 16-footer for birdie at one, then birdied the third and fourth, both from inside 10 feet to move to 9-under. The two-time Masters champion drained a 12-foot birdie try at the seventh to move two clear of the field at minus-10.
Johnson made a hole-in-one on No. 4 in the third round and almost repeated that in the final round. He stuffed his tee shot inside two feet and tapped in for birdie. He stumbled to a bogey at the seventh, but atoned for that mistake with a 2-putt birdie at the par-5 eighth.
At the par-5 10th, Johnson converted a 10-foot birdie chance to move to minus-8. He was two back at that point, and he parred his next four holes. In that span, he made a 21-footer to save par at 11 and an 11-foot par putt on No. 14.
Watson, who was in the group ahead of Johnson and Holmes, found sand twice at the 11th. His greenside bunker shot was a poor one, and he 2-putted from 56 feet out for bogey.
At the par-5 12th, Watson found another bunker with his third. He blasted to 11 feet and needed two putts to get down. That bogey dropped him into a share of the lead with Johnson.
Watson slipped one back as he bogeyed the 14th. Johnson ended his string of pars with a 14-foot birdie effort on the par-3 15th. He led by two at point.
Johnson 2-putted for par at 16 and 17. He missed the green at the last, but nearly holed his birdie effort from off the putting surface. Johnson tapped in for par and the win.
"Didn't putt quite as well as I'd have liked to all week, but holed the putts when I needed to," Johnson admitted. "Big putt on 11 for par, 14, and then 15. So I made them when I needed to. I didn't make them early in the round when I hit it close on one and two, and I had good putts on every hole it seemed like."
Holmes 2-putted for birdie at the 16th to get within one, but he parred the final two holes to end there.
"Just didn't make any putts. I hit a lot of great putts. A ton of putts I thought I made that were in the center of the cup that at the last second broke out," Holmes explained. "I made a couple bad swings early. It was tough out there. Just wasn't my day."
Watson closed his round with four straight pars.
NOTES: Johnson, who became the eighth player with multiple World Golf Championship titles, earned $1.57 million for the win ... Johnson's 5-stroke comeback was the biggest in event history ... Justin Rose had the best previous comeback as he erased a 3-shot deficit in 2012 ... The PGA Tour remains in Florida next week for the Valspar Championship, where John Senden won last year, while the European Tour has the Tshwane Open, where Ross Fisher was victorious in 2014.