Zach Johnson’s late charge puts him in line for overall prize
American’s bogey-free final round of 65 secures win in BMW Championship
Zach Johnson reacts to a birdie putt on the 16th green during the final round of the BMW Championship at Conway Farms Golf Club yesterday in Lake Forest, Illinois. Photograph: Getty Images
Zach Johnson fired a bogey-free 65 in the final round to win the weather-delayed BMW Championship at Conway Farms Golf Club in Lake Forest, Illinois.
Johnson, the 2007 Masters champion, used a late charge to finish at 16-under-par 268 for a two-stroke victory over fellow American Nick Watney (64) in the penultimate event of the FedEx Cup play-offs.
Lifted by clutch birdie putts at the 16th and 17th holes, Johnson moved up to fourth on the Cup points list going into next week’s Tour Championship in Atlanta, where the overall winner of the four-event series pockets a $10 million (€7.5m) bonus. The top five in the standings among the 30 players on the points list that qualified for the season-ending event are assured of winning the FedEx Cup should they win the final event at East Lake.
Tiger Woods, Henrik Stenson of Sweden and Australian Adam Scott top the standings with Matt Kuchar holding the fifth spot.
It was the 10th career PGA title for Johnson, who has yet to win in back-to-back weeks during his 10-years on the tour.
“Frankly, I’m going to have to forget about this week,” he said about his approach to winning the Tour Championship.
“I’m going to have to take Atlanta for Atlanta and just play. East Lake is not Conway Farms. It is a beast. It’s a classic and a challenge that myself and all my peers get juiced up for.”
Watney’s brilliant round helped him move to 12th place on the points list after beginning the tournament in 54th place in the FedEx standings.
Jim Furyk, who shot into early command of the tournament with a second round 59 that was only the sixth sub-60 score ever shot on the tour, led by two shots after a birdie at the 10th took him to 15 under par, but three late bogeys dropped him to a level-par 71 for third place at 13-under 271.
For Furyk it was the sixth time since his last victory at the 2010 Tour Championship to clinch the FedEx Cup title he has failed to win after holding the 54-hole lead.
Tied for fourth place at 11-under were Americans Steve Stricker (72) and Hunter Mahan (67), Australian Jason Day (66) and England’s Luke Donald (66), who moved from 54th place in the standing into 29th place on the points list to qualify for the Tour Championship.
LEADING TOTALS: (USA unless stated, par 71): 268 Zach Johnson 64 70 69 65. 270 Nick Watney 67 69 70 64. 271 Jim Furyk 72 59 69 71. 273 Steve Stricker 66 71 64 72, Hunter Mahan 68 73 65 67, Luke Donald (Eng) 70 70 67 66, Jason Day (Aus) 71 66 70 66. 274 Charl Schwartzel (Rsa) 66 70 69 69, Brandt Snedeker 63 68 71 72, Matthew Jones (Aus) 69 71 67 67. 275 Tiger Woods 66 72 66 71, Rory Sabbatini (Rsa) 69 71 66 69, Jimmy Walker 72 65 70 68, Ryan Moore 67 69 69 70. Other: 290 Graeme McDowell (NIre) 70 73 72 75. 291 Rory McIlroy (NIre) 78 77 68 68.