Johnson looks like $10m man in New Jersey
Sunday 28 August 2011
A brilliant final round of six-under 65 in New Jersey yesterday put Dustin Johnson in prime position to be this year's $10 million man. The American outfought fellow countryman Matt Kuchar down the stretch to win The Barclays by two shot and rise to the top of the FedEx Cup standings.
There are three more PGA Tour tournaments before the FedEx Cup winner can be crowned but "DJ" will be a hard man to beat to the $10m bonus. He looked fully recovered from his on-again, off-again relationship problems which derailed his game as he ended a year-long victory drought.
Hurricane Irene may have been bearing down on the Garden State but that didn't stop the Tour's finest producing fireworks in the first event of the play-offs. Reduced to 54 holes so that the tournament could be completed before the winds rose. Johnson followed up his Friday pyrotechnics by taking a mere 29 shots on the front nine for the second day in a row.
The 27-year-old had trailed his playing partner Kuchar by one shot at the start of the round but snatched the lead with a brilliant eagle on the 360-yard par-four fourth. The pair matched each other shot for shot until the former US Amateur champion drew level with a birdie on the 11th.
But instead of fuelling a challenge down the closing holes, Kuchar faltered with bogeys on the next two holes to surrender the lead for good as par golf was then sufficient for Johnson to lift the title with a 19-under total.
Rounds in the 60s were de rigueur in the soft conditions as Brandt Snedeker fired a day's best 61 to finish tied third on 16-under.
Brian Davis led the English challenge with a final-round 64 to end joint sixth alongside Justin Rose among others two shots behind the American.
In Scotland at the Gleneagles home of the 2014 Ryder Cup, England's Mark Foster (four-under 68) and Spaniard Ignacio Garrido (69), who have played more than 450 European Tour events between them since their last wins in 2003, will go head to head to try to change that today.
The pair are 11 under par after54 holes of the Johnnie Walker Championship and three clear of the chasing pack – Dubliner Peter Lawrie, Dane Thomas Bjorn, American Anthony Kang, Austrian Bernd Wiesberger and recent Spanish winner Pablo Larrazabal.
While former the Ryder Cup player Garrido has had only one top-10 finish all season, Foster has had a succession of chances to end his long drought. He led the BMW International, French Open and Scottish Open in successive weeks this summer, but finished third, second and 14th.
"I've become a serial runner-up," said the 36-year-old. "I hit rock bottom when I lost the Spanish Open last year, but I've learnt from it and I look beyond winning now. You realise it's just the way it is. You can't influence what others do."
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