Johnson triumphs at Cog Hill
First came an 82 on the final day of the U.S. Open. Then came a crushing blow at the PGA Championship, when he was denied a spot in the playoff for not realizing he was in a bunker and touching the sand with his club on the final hole.
Resilient as he is powerful, Johnson kept coming back for more.
The payoff came Sunday in the BMW Championship, when the 26-year-old American was flawless on the back nine at Cog Hill and made up a three-shot deficit against Paul Casey to win for the second time this year. Playing in the final group for the fourth time since June, Johnson closed with a 2-under 69 for a one-shot victory.
“To finally get it done, especially after all the things I’ve gone through this summer ... it can’t feel any better,” Johnson said. “I played really good golf today. I didn’t make as many birdies as I would have liked, but I made just enough.”
Tied for the lead, Johnson knew the 17th hole might be his last good chance. He pulled driver and smashed his tee shot over the trees with a slight fade, the ball landing in the fairway and leaving him a sand wedge that he hit within 2 feet for a tap-in birdie.
Johnson, who has emerged as one of the game’s rising stars, goes to the Tour Championship at No. 2 in the FedEx Cup standings.
One player he won’t have to beat at East Lake is Tiger Woods. The world’s No. 1 player sputtered at the start and shot 70 to tie for 15th, not nearly enough to move into the top 30 in the standings and advance to the FedEx Cup finale.
Edgerton native Steve Stricker finished tied for eighth after a final-round 70. Stricker is fourth in the FedEx Cup standings.