Johnson Beats Kuchar by Two Strokes at Shortened Barclays Golf Tournament

Dustin Johnson shot a 6-under-par 65 to win the Barclays golf tournament, the U.S. PGA Tour’s playoff opener which was shortened to 54 holes to avoid disruption by Hurricane Irene.

Johnson finished 19-under at Plainfield Country Club in Edison, New Jersey, yesterday topping defending champion Matt Kuchar by two shots for his first win of the year. Brandt Snedeker and Vijay Singh tied for third at 16-under.

“It feels great,” Johnson told reporters. “I feel like I’ve played pretty well all year but just haven’t quite been able to get that win.”

Tournament officials decided to shorten the tournament to 54 holes from 72 because of the threat of Hurricane Irene. Players started early yesterday at 7 a.m., teeing off on both the first and 10th holes in groups of three instead of the normal two.

“I think the tour definitely did the right thing in putting this to a 54-hole event, teeing us off early today,” Kuchar said yesterday. “I thought we were going to be playing in a lot of rain. It turned out to be a good day of golf. Just a few small showers out there.”

Johnson made an eagle, five birdies and a bogey in shooting 29 on the front nine for the second straight day. He then finished with nine consecutive pars for his fifth career victory.

“I played the front pretty well,” Johnson said. “I wish we could have just kept playing the front nine.”

Kuchar, who led Johnson and Singh by one shot going into today’s round, finished with a 68. He had five birdies over the first 11 holes, made bogeys on the 12th and 13th and finished with five straight pars.

Snedeker had 11 birdies and one bogey in shooting the day’s lowest score of 61, while Singh finished with a 68.

The PGA Tour’s postseason continues next week with the 100-player Deutsche Bank Championship, from which 70 advance to the BMW Championship. After that, the top 30 players contest the Tour Championship, with the winner of the FedEx Cup receiving a $10 million bonus.

To contact the reporter on this story: Bob Bensch in London at bbensch@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christopher Elser at celser@bloomberg.net.

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