Fans came out in droves to see the world's No. 1 player, who tied for 12th on Sunday.

HILTON HEAD ISLAND — Dustin Johnson paid a visit into the middle of the gallery on his last hole during Sunday’s RBC Heritage final round, but it wasn’t to personally express his gratitude for the enormous support he received all week.

Johnson was out of the running for the win and took a big hack with his driver on the reachable (for him) 340-yard par-4 ninth (he started his day on the back) and his ball landed behind the right-side bleachers adjacent to the green.

That got the crowd buzzing even as he was off target after one of the rare times one of the sport’s longest hitters used the big stick on one of the Tour’s more intimate layouts. Johnson got a fortunate drop and, from the middle of the crowd, chipped past the hole and two-putted for par.

Johnson said he didn’t go for broke because it was the last hole, but after a delay “I had to sit there and wait forever and just kind of lost focus. I was actually trying to hit a low one, maybe chase it up there on the green.”

A 12th-place tie at 7 under (including a strong finish with his 67 equaling Sunday’s second-lowest) wasn’t what Johnson was looking for, but the swollen galleries certainly got what they’d hoped for in four days of a front-row view watching a guy that’s been the world’s No. 1 for over a year. Now at 61 weeks and running, he’s tied Seve Ballesteros for the fifth-longest stretch on top of the world.

Johnson said he mulls the streak “sometimes, yeah, but most of the time now I just want to play as good as I can. And I want to feel my game is in really good form which it is right now.”

The seemingly non-ending line of fans following Johnson up-and-down each fairway, gathering several deep around each green and tee-box, were by far the largest numbers seen in recent memory, or maybe ever. When Jordan Spieth honored his commitment to play Harbour Town just days after winning the 2015 Masters, his following was huge as well, but not quite the size of Johnson’s legions.

It’s difficult to tell whether that has to do with Johnson’s veteran status (Spieth was just starting his third season), his jaw-dropping power, or his local ties. It certainly had nothing to do with Johnson’s relationship to the Heritage, as the Columbia native and Dutch Fork/Coastal Carolina alum hadn’t played the event since 2009, his second PGA Tour season.

Fans didn’t hold his absence against him, obviously, or the fact he didn’t compete this year to honor the tournament’s 50th anniversary, but only because he recently signed a multi-year deal with title sponsor Royal Bank of Canada. That relationship will bring Johnson back to Hilton Head for at least one more year, he confirmed again Sunday.

“I like the golf course, I really do,” Johnson said. “It actually sets up really well for me. I like the holes — I don’t really like Nos. 11 and 9 — but other than that I like the course a lot. I played those two holes a total of 5-over this week.”

It’s the last anyone will see of Johnson on the golf course for a while as he was headed straight to the Bahamas from Hilton Head for a vacation next week and won’t play again until the May 10 Players Championship. That means fans in the Carolinas won’t get another look at him as he confirmed he won’t play the May 3 Wells Fargo Championship in Charlotte, where he tied for second last year.