Zach Johnson (USA, -16) clinched the coveted title at the penultimate Playoff tournament on the PGA TOUR, which was held at Conway Farms Golf Club for the first time. The 2007 Masters winner came through against a world-class field, featuring this season’s top 70 players Stateside, and now heads to Thursday’s TOUR Championship in Atlanta ranked fourth in the FedExCup. Nick Watney (USA, -14) and Jim Furyk (USA, -13) finished second and third behind the 37-year-old. The win was Johnson’s tenth on the PGA TOUR.
World number one Tiger Woods (USA, -9) had to settle for a share of 11th place. However, this proved sufficient to earn Woods top spot and relegate Henrik Stenson (SWE, -1) from first to second in the FedExCup rankings. As well as Woods, Stenson and Johnson, Adam Scott (AUS, -2) in third and Matt Kuchar (USA, -3) in fifth complete the top five ahead of the final tournament of the PGA TOUR season. Johnson’s victory at the end of a thrilling final round was the dramatic conclusion to a tournament week packed with highlights and records.
“I am honoured to be the 2013 BMW champion. It has been a great week here at Conway Farms,” said Johnson after the final round, which was concluded on Monday after heavy rain caused play to be suspended on Sunday. “It was a week of perseverance and patience. I got off to a great start. Conditions were excellent. Today was just a day of hole-to-hole, plotting my way around, and I putted phenomenally today. I haven’t putted like that in weeks. It’s nice having everything come together, especially in a final round at a tournament as important as the BMW Championship.”
Johnson started the day three shots off behind overnight leader Jim Furyk, but moved into the lead after a three-under front nine that featured back-to-back birdies on holes seven and eight. With Nick Watney storming up the leader board on his way to a round of 64 that ultimately earned him the runner-up spot, Johnson held his nerve on the back nine and picked up another birdie on the 12th to keep pace with both Watney and Furyk. The decisive phase of play came right at the end of this extraordinary tournament: with Watney already back in the clubhouse on -14, Furyk dropped shots 13 and 16, while Johnson picked up a brace of vital birdies on 16 and 17 to finally give himself some breathing space at the top of the leader board. A par on the 18th proved sufficient to earn Johnson victory and a cheque for 1,440,000 dollars.