Dustin Johnson holed out for an eagle on the final hole at TPC Southwind to win the FedEx St. Jude Classic by six shots and return to the top of the World Ranking.
DJ wins FedEx St. Jude to reclaim World Number 1 spot
Dustin Johnson closed with a 66 to win the FedEx St. Jude Classic by six shots from Andrew Putnam and he closed out the event in emphatic style by holing out from 170 yards with a 9-iron on the final hole.
“What a cool way to finish,” said Johnson after claiming his second win of the 2017/18 PGA Tour wraparound season.
Johnson began the final round tied for the lead with Andrew Putnam but when the two-time Web.com winner double-bogeyed the first hole, DJ had an advantage that he wouldn’t relinquish to the finish.
With some prodigious hitting, Johnson navigated his way calmly around TPC Southwind and even when he did find trouble, he recovered well. He saved par after an errant tee shot on the 12th then, on the par-5 16th, he flayed his tee shot well right into the trees. But he played a great second, threaded between the trunks, ending just short of the green. He then chipped close and holed for a birdie and a four-stroke lead.
The 18th put the icing on the cake, an eagle two for a 66 and a fourth straight round in the 60s. The 2016 U.S. Open champion will now go into next week’s Major at Shinnecock Hills as a favourite to claim a second national title.
“Playing the way I did all week, knowing everything that was on the line gives me a lot of confidence,” he said. “I think it was a big win, it was a big statement.”
With the win, Johnson has reclaimed top spot on the Official World Golf Ranking from Justin Thomas.
Although Andrew Putnam will be disappointed with his final round 72 at TPC Southwind. The American can console himself with a career-best PGA Tour finish.
Stewart Cink also closed with a 72 but, like Putnam, the 2009 Open winner can take positives from the performance. His tied fourth place was his first top-five on Tour since 2015.
Phil Mickelson enjoyed a solid final round of 65 to climb the leaderboard and take some momentum into the U.S. Open, while Retief Goosen, the last man to win the U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills, carded a closing 66 to end the week in a tie for sixth.
FedEx St. Jude Classic
TPC Southwind, Memphis, Tennessee
Purse: $6,600,000 Par: 70
1 Dustin Johnson (USA) 67 63 65 66 261 $1,188,000
2 Andrew Putnam (USA) 67 64 64 72 267 $712,800
3 J.B. Holmes (USA) 69 67 68 67 271 $448,800
T4 Stewart Cink (USA) 68 68 64 72 272 $290,400
T4 Richy Werenski (USA) 68 67 66 71 272 $290,400
T6 Austin Cook (USA) 69 70 69 65 273 $199,650
T6 Retief Goosen (RSA) 67 72 68 66 273 $199,650
T6 Chris Kirk (USA) 66 72 66 69 273 $199,650
T6 Trey Mullinax (USA) 69 69 65 70 273 $199,650
T6 Chez Reavie (USA) 67 67 68 71 273 $199,650
T6 Brandt Snedeker (USA) 71 62 70 70 273 $199,650
Note: Player score in bold signifies Titleist ball usage