Dustin Johnson finishes up on top; Owen Farrell to discover his fate tonight
The Morning Sports Briefing: Keep ahead of the game with ‘The Irish Times’ sports team
Dustin Johnson with the FedEx Cup trophy after winning in the final round of the Tour Championship at East Lake in Atlanta. Photograph: Getty Images
Dustin Johnson held off determined challenges from Justin Thomas and Xander Schauffele to win the Tour Championship, FedEx Cup title and the first prize of $15 million in Atlanta overnight. Johnson saw his five-shot overnight lead cut to two, first by playing partner Schauffele and then Thomas, but the world number one held his nerve to secure the eight-figure payday at East Lake. Rory McIlroy, who celebrated becoming a father for the first time with the birth of daughter Poppy a week ago, carded five birdies and two bogeys in a closing 67. That left him 11 under par overall and in a tie for eighth place.
In his column this morning Gerry Thornley writes that it’s hard to fathom Munster’s approach to playing Leinster in last weekend’s semi-final: “Watching their comparative lack of ambition and width against Leinster – despite Johann van Graan, Stephen Larkham and Graham Rowntree having a full pre-season as such with the entire squad – was hard to fathom.” Ahead of this weekend’s Pro14 final James Ryan looks set to return from the shoulder injury that has ruled him out post-lockdown, while Ulster head coach Dan McFarland believes his underdogs are in with ‘a puncher’s chance’ of denying Leinster three-in-a-row. On Saturday week Leinster are in Champions Cup action against Saracens, who are set to be without their talisman Owen Farrell. The England captain faces an online disciplinary hearing tonight when he will discover the length of his suspension for being shown a red card for a dangerous tackle against Wasps. His head coach Mark McCall is planning for the heavyweight quarter-final clash without his outhalf.