Coming through a playoff against James Driscoll, Zach Johnson won the Valero Texas Open for the second time in the space of seven months. It was a sixth career PGA Tour victory for the 2007 Masters Champion.
Johnson took the lead at La Cantera Golf Club with a scintillating third round of 60. Driscoll began the final round a full eight shots off the pace but he posted a superb 62, including six birdies and an eagle, to finish on a total of -15.
The American had to endure a long wait to see if anyone could match him. It was an hour and a half before Johnson holed out on the final green for a closing 70 and a total of -15: tying Driscoll.
The pair returned to the 18th tee for a sudden-death playoff. Johnson fired a six iron second shot in to some 10 feet from the hole, Driscoll’s approach ended some 30 feet away. When his putt missed, Johnson had a chance of victory. He duly took his opportunity and secured a sixth career PGA Tour title.
“I feel very lucky.” Said Johnson.
Johnson now leads the FedEx Cup standings and has climbed to third on the money list. He’s also up to 19th on the Official World Golf Ranking.
It was only Driscoll’s third top-10 finish on the PGA Tour. If he could have secured the victory it would have marked the biggest comeback in the history of the Valero Texas Open (the event was first played in 1922.)
“When you get that close to a win and that close to going to Augusta and going to Hawaii for the first tournament of the year, it’s a little disappointing.” He said.
Paul Goydos finished in a tie for third with Bill Haas. Four players – Brian Davis of England, Freddie Jacobson of Sweden, Australia’s Marc Leishman and 2007 champion Justin Leonard were a further shot back in tied fifth.
The Valero Texas Open was moved in this year’s schedule from October to May so Johnson had only held the position of defending champion for seven months. This time he’ll get to hold on to it for a full year.
Valero Texas Open
La Cantera Golf Club, San Antonio, Texas
May 14-17, purse $6,100,000, par 70
1 Zach Johnson (USA) 68 67 60 70 265 $1,098,000
2 James Driscoll (USA) 67 69 67 62 265 $658,800
T3 Paul Goydos (USA) 63 65 69 69 266 $353,800
T3 Bill Haas (USA) 67 67 67 65 266 $353,800
T5 Brian Davis (Eng) 65 67 69 66 267 $214,263
T5 Fredrik Jacobson (Swe) 66 66 68 67 267 $214,263
T5 Marc Leishman (Aus) 64 69 66 68 267 $214,263
T5 Justin Leonard (USA) 63 68 67 69 267 $214,263
T9 Stephen Ames (Can) 66 67 68 67 268 $170,800
T9 Charley Hoffman (USA) 70 69 63 66 268 $170,800
Note: Players in bold signifies Titleist ball usage only