Zach Johnson Wins PGA Tour’s Rain-Delayed BMW ChampionshipMichael Buteau
Zach Johnson scored a two-shot victory over Nick Watney in the rain-delayed BMW Championship, the third of the U.S. PGA Tour’s four playoff events.
The tournament was completed today after heavy rain in the Chicago area postponed yesterday’s final round at Conway Farms Golf Club in Lake Forest, Illinois.
It’s the 10th PGA Tour win for Johnson, 37, and first since the 2012 John Deere Classic. It’s also his first victory in one of the U.S. tour’s four playoff events.
After skipping the first event of the playoffs in New Jersey last month to attend his brother’s wedding, Johnson is now fourth in the FedEx Cup standings heading into this week’s Tour Championship at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta. Tiger Woods is in first, followed by Henrik Stenson and Adam Scott. Matt Kuchar is fifth. Johnson entered the BMW Championship ranked 27th in the standings.
“Frankly, I’m going to have to forget about this week and just play Atlanta for Atlanta,” Johnson said in a televised interview. “East Lake is a beast. It’s awesome. It’s a classic and a challenge that myself and all of my peers get juiced up for.”
The top 30 players in the standings qualify for the final event, which is scheduled to begin Sept. 19. The BMW Championship and Tour Championship each pay the winner $1.44 million, with the No. 1 player in the FedEx Cup standings receiving a $10 million bonus.
Johnson, who began the final round three shots behind third-round leader Jim Furyk at 10 under, had six birdies during a bogey-free round of 65.
Furyk had an even-par 71 today, a round that included three bogeys over his final eight holes. Furyk, 43, shot a 12-under-par 59 in the second round to tie the tour record-low score in a competitive round.
Watney had the day’s lowest score with a 7-under 64 to secure second place at 14 under, one shot ahead of Furyk. Australia’s Jason Day, England’s Luke Donald and Americans Hunter Mahan and Steve Stricker tied for fourth at 11 under.
Johnson took a one-shot lead over Furyk at 15 under on the par-4 16th hole when he rolled in an 18-foot downhill birdie putt. He widened the gap with a 13-foot birdie on the next hole as Furyk faltered.
The fourth round was delayed by 3 1/2 hours yesterday before being suspended. Forty-six of the 70 players in the field were on the course or finished with the final round when play was halted by rain as puddles began forming on fairways and greens.
Woods finished tied for 11th place with an even-par final-round 71.