"I was swinging really well and didn't make a few putts early, but I tried my best not to get frustrated with the putter, because I knew I was swinging well," Johnson said. "You just keep hitting good golf shots, keep playing your game and don't worry about what they are doing, and we'll see what happens."
Johnson, who has been brilliant since coming back from a six-month layoff, shot a three-under-par 69 on an overcast, blustery day on the Blue Monster at Trump National Doral.
In five events since his return to the PGA Tour in February, Johnson has a victory, a second-place finish at Riviera after losing a playoff and a tie for fourth at Pebble Beach.
"It's one of my biggest wins," said Johnson, 30, who has nine career victories. "Especially after a long layoff, to come back out and win in my fifth start means a lot. I've been working hard on my game and been working hard on me, so it means a great deal to have some success right out of the gate."
Johnson shot 68-73-69-69—279, his nine-under-par total earning him $1.57 million. His last win was the WGC-HSBC Champions in November 2013.
Holmes, who began the day with a five-shot lead over Watson and Johnson, shot a three-over 75 to finish second at eight-under 280. Holmes was bidding to go wire-to-wire, having led the first day after tying the tournament record with a 10-under 62.
"Dustin played a great round," Holmes said. "I knew it was going to take a good round to beat me, even if I had a little bit of an off-day, and 69 out here is pretty freaking good today."
Watson got off to a hot start with three birdies in his first four holes Sunday and built a two-shot lead before bogeying it away. He ended up with a 71 to finish third at seven under.
Johnson didn't appear to be much of a threat initially, as Watson charged and Holmes faltered.
Watson, playing in the twosome ahead of Johnson and Holmes, birdied four of his first seven holes to get to 10 under. Meanwhile, Holmes had three bogeys to drop to eight under and Johnson had two birdies and a bogey to get to seven under at the turn.
A birdie at the par-five 10th got Johnson to eight under, then he had a huge par save on the 11th, making a 20-foot putt after hitting his approach into a greenside bunker.
Johnson had another big save at the 14th when he missed the green, chipped to within 11 feet and made that putt.
"After I made that putt on 14 for par, that's when I really was like, 'OK, we can do this,' " Johnson said.
Holmes also missed the 14th green, and then a six-foot par putt, to give Johnson a one-shot lead. By then, Watson had made three bogeys to drop to seven under.
A 14-foot birdie putt at the par-three 15th gave Johnson a two-shot cushion. Holmes birdied the 16th to get within one, but Johnson refused to wilt.
On the 488-yard, par-four 18th, Johnson bombed a 317-yard drive over the corner of the water that safely landed on the left side of the fairway after Holmes had put a bomb of his own in the fairway. Johnson hit his next shot just off the back of the green. After Holmes missed his must-make birdie putt, Johnson rolled his 42-foot birdie putt 11 inches from the cup and tapped in for the victory.
For Watson, it was Bubba golf at its best and worst.
Earlier in the tournament, Watson said he can't stand the Blue Monster course because it's too difficult for his style of play and the only thing saving him was his short game.
By late Sunday afternoon, Watson must've been hating the course and the pressure it placed on his pitching and putting, which failed him coming down the stretch.
Watson was just right of the green in two on the par-five eighth, but could not get up and down for the birdie. He then missed a 10-foot birdie putt on the ninth to go out in 32.
Those two holes set the tone for a poor start to the back nine.
Watson made par on the par-five 10th, which he had eagled on Friday and birdied on Saturday, after driving into a fairway bunker.
He again drove into a fairway bunker at the 11th, put his approach shot in a greenside bunker and failed to save his par.
At the par-five 12th, Watson buried his approach shot in a greenside bunker and did a good job blasting out to 11 feet, but missed the par putt to fall into a three-way tie with Holmes and Johnson.
He fell out of that tie after a wayward drive on 14 forced him to lay up 47 yards short of the green, and he failed to save par after pitching to within 15 feet. All he could do after that was make pars on his four remaining holes.
"A couple of shots, just missed the fairway by a few feet, missed the green by a few feet," Watson said. "That's what this golf course does. If you're just off, it can get to you real fast."