Johnson wins Irene-shortened Barclays|
Edison, NJ (Sports Network) - Dustin Johnson might want to petition the tour
to have all of his events reduced to 54 holes.
Thanks to his closing six-under 65 Saturday, Johnson has now won the last two
PGA Tour events that were cut to 54 holes by weather. The 27-year-old Johnson
finished The Barclays at 19-under-par 194, good for a two-stroke win over 2010
champion Matt Kuchar.
"It feels great. I feel like I've played pretty well all year, but just
haven't quite been able to get that win," Johnson admitted. "The putter has
been lacking a little bit. This week, I finally rolled in some putts, so this
feels really good."
Kuchar closed with a three-under 69 to take second at minus-17.
The tournament was shortened to 54 holes due to Hurricane Irene. It was the
first PGA Tour event cut to three rounds since the 2009 Pebble Beach Pro-am,
which Johnson also won.
This was the first event of the PGA Tour playoffs, and Johnson started the
week ranked 19th in the chase for the FedExCup. Thanks to his fifth PGA Tour
title, Johnson now leads that race, with Kuchar in second place.
The top 100 on the points list advance to next week's Deutsche Bank
Championship, which starts on Friday at the TPC Boston. Among those that
failed to move on were Arjun Atwal, D.J. Trahan, Bryce Molder, Kevin Stadler
and two-time U.S. Open champion Retief Goosen.
With the pending arrival of Hurricane Irene, tee times were moved up with the
last group going out at 8:50 a.m. (et) Saturday . The round was completed in
about five hours with no weather delays.
"I think the tour definitely did the right thing in putting this to a 54-hole
event, and teeing us off early today," Kuchar said. "I thought we were going
to be playing in a lot of rain. It turned out to be a good day for golf. Just
a few small showers out there."
Brandt Snedeker set the tournament's 18-hole scoring record as he closed with
a 10-under 61. That helped him finish alongside 2008 FedExCup champion Vijay
Singh (68) in third place at minus-16.
Jonathan Byrd posted a four-under 67 to grab fifth place at 15-under-par 198.
Johnson and Kuchar played alongside each other in the final threesome, and
traded the lead over the first four holes. Johnson, who trailed by one to
start the round, knocked in a four-foot birdie putt on the first.
He came right back with a 13-footer for birdie on No. 2 to grab the lead at
15-under. Kuchar re-claimed the top spot on the leaderboard with a 13-foot
birdie effort on the third as Johnson stumbled to a bogey on the same hole.
Johnson responded in fine fashion on the par-four fourth. He drove into a
greenside bunker, but holed his 26-yard sand shot for eagle to re-take a one-
stroke advantage at 16-under.
"Walking into it, I'm like, this is the first time I've been in a bunker all
week," said Johnson. "I kind of didn't know what to expect. My bunker game
this year has not been superb."
The duo matched birdies the rest of the front nine. On the par-five fifth,
Johnson two-putted for his birdie, while Kuchar converted an eight-foot birdie
At the seventh, Johnson poured in a 24-foot birdie effort. Kuchar responded by
sinking his six-foot birdie try. After Johnson birdied the ninth from 12 feet
out, Kuchar answered again, this time from four feet away.
Kuchar ran in a 16-foot birdie effort at the par-three 11th to join Johnson
atop the leaderboard. However, he stumbled to bogeys on the next two holes to
fall two back.
That was all the room Johnson needed. He parred the final nine holes to seal
"The front nine, the putts were rolling in. The back nine, I hit some good
shots. It wasn't that I hit bad putts, I just had a lot of tricky putts that
were hard to read," Johnson explained. "If you get on the wrong side of the
hole on these greens, it's tough to read them."
Kuchar, who was denied his fourth PGA Tour crown, parred the last five holes
to end two back.
"Dustin and I each had it going on the front side and made for some exciting
golf," Kuchar stated. "I was right there with a shot at it and to come up
short, it's frustrating. I had a couple not so good shots coming in. I felt
like I was just giving shots away."
Brian Davis (64), Justin Rose (67), former PGA Champion Y.E. Yang (63) and
Camilo Villegas (65) shared sixth place at 14-under-par 199.
NOTES: Johnson, who also won the 2010 BMW Championship, the third playoff
event, joined Tiger Woods, Steve Stricker, Camilo Villegas, Vijay Singh and
Phil Mickelson with multiple wins in the PGA Tour playoff events...Johnson,
who earned $1.44 million for the victory, has the most wins (5) by an American
in his 20s...Charley Hoffman, who moved to 33rd on the points list, will
defend his title next week at the Deutsche Bank Championship.
08/27 16:24:36 ET