Johnson wins as McIroy blows it in Memphis

Sun, 10 Jun 20:08:00 2012

A pulled back muscle after trying lift a jet ski cost Dustin Johnson 11 weeks of golf but in just his second tournament back the the big-hitting American had no problems hoisting the St Jude Classic trophy.

Dustin Johnson hits his tee shot on the 18th hole during the second round of The Barclays golf tournament, Friday, Aug. 26, 2011, in Edison, N.J - 0

Johnson tuned up for the July 14-17 US Open by carding birdies on two of the last three holes for a one-shot victory in Memphis, Tennessee, while Rory McIlroy squandered a chance at winning with an errant tee shot on his final hole.

"I tried to just play my game today," Johnson said. "I'm hitting the ball well. I was just trying to play my game and get as many looks at birdies as I could. And, you know, I did that."

Johnson was injured trying to lift his jet ski off a trailer and, following a return at last week's Memorial tournament where he tied for 19th, he fired a four-under 66 in the final round at TPC Southwind to finish at nine-under 271, one clear of fellow American John Merrick (68).

He claimed his sixth PGA Tour title, moved back to 10th in the world and became just the second player after Tiger Woods to win in each of his first five years out of college.

"It feels really good. Especially having so much time off and coming back," said Johnson. "Last week helped a lot competing and getting back in the groove of things and then I came out this week and I just played well all week."

Ryan Palmer (66), Chad Campbell (68), Australian Nick O'Hern (69) and US Ryder Cup captain Davis Love III (69) shared third at seven-under 273.

It was a rollercoaster day for Northern Ireland's world number two McIlroy, who arrived at the 18th hole tied for the lead only to send his three-wood tee shot into a water hazard and end up with a double-bogey.

"I was missing that three-wood left all day," said McIlroy, who finished tied for seventh. "To be honest, I wasn't really that comfortable with it, but I knew it was the shot that I needed to play and I didn't hit the way I wanted to."

Johnson started the final round one shot back of overnight leaders Merrick, O'Hern and Love III but fired a laser approach inside four feet on the opening hole and converted the birdie to join the lead.

Back-to-back birdies on the sixth and seventh holes, the first via an impressive 17-foot putt and the next coming from yet another close wedge shot, ensured the 27-year-old stayed on top of the leaderboard.

But when he failed to get up and down from the greenside bunker on the ninth hole and posted bogey, his momentum stalled and a handful of challengers leapfrogged him on the board.

Six consecutive pars kept the American in the mix before he made his move, just as those ahead of him faltered.

Johnson birdied the par-five 16th to join the lead pack at eight-under and as McIlroy and Campbell sent their tee shots on the 18th into the water, Johnson drained an eight-foot birdie on the 17th to take the outright lead at nine-under.

A routine par on the last proved good enough but it left Merrick and O'Hern, playing in the final group, a chance to tie with birdies.

O'Hern dunked his tee shot into the water while Merrick found deep rough but advanced the ball to just short of the green and almost chipped in to force a playoff.

Reuters

Comment 1 - 14 of 14

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  1. Yeah ok, I can't disagree with that??????????

    From Piecrust, on Mon 11 Jun 14:32
  2. rtz - You mean your not going to have a go at me­ because you know i'm right, and yes I do read your­ expert advice, like when there was one round to go and­ you picked Robert Allenby to win the St Jude. Correct­ me if i'm wrong but he finished 7th, so once again­ your expert advice was not so expert was it? There a­ four rounds of golf in a competition and you still­ can't get it right with only one to go. As for your­ constant nasty comments to young Rory, I can only­ imagine you are green with envy !!

    From Piecrust, on Mon 11 Jun 12:57
  3. Jerry - Very well said, you know what they say about­ throwing stones in a greenhouse, rtz and Dizzy both­ have a rather nasty habit of finding fault and running­ down particular golfers. For rtz it's Rory Mcilroy­ and for Dizzy it's Lee Westwood, of course they all­ both great achievers in their own fields. (Trolling)

    From Piecrust, on Mon 11 Jun 10:56
  4. According to a survey I read recently it stated Rory­ Mac 23 years old, current US Open Champion, No 2 in the­ world, multi millionaire RTZ failed South African­ Jaapie, living in exile in Europe, champion­ guttersnipe, leading Troll and one fullstop short of a­ punctuation mark! Makes for interesting reading

    From JERRY, on Mon 11 Jun 8:09
  5. After 3 missed cuts i think Rory would be pleased with­ that performance.He will do OK in the US open, but as­ for winning it that's another story. He seems to­ bottle it when he is under pressure and unless he has a­ big lead he never seems to get over the line first.

    From Ron, on Mon 11 Jun 6:28
  6. @4; you do a lot of thinking for one with so little­ grey matter; well done to you. It would be nice once­ in a while to produce a fact, but hey ho, can't­ have it all ways with an amoeba :)

    From bobby, on Mon 11 Jun 5:31
  7. How old is Rory? Twenty three. How many people get to­ the top of their profession at 23? Leave Rory alone. ­ Golf is not an easy sport and by the end of his career­ he would have made a name for himself. In the­ meantime, I hope he also gets to enjoy his life. Good­ luck to him and Caroline.

    From kmf, on Mon 11 Jun 2:03
  8. The old hook got Rory again and its something he has­ address before it gets inside his head and its not­ ideal for this week.Defending his US Open title was­ always going to be next to impossible but he is playing­ a bit better at least .Patience is not his strong suit­ so thats a bigger concern than his form because by all­ accounts over par could win if the weather gets­ bad.Rory lost this battle but he should be ready for­ this weeks one.Good luck Kid

    From Born to Run, on Mon 11 Jun 1:55
  9. Concentrate, Man !! Pull yourself together Rory;­ after the hard work you should be celebrating. . . .!!

    From ock-hi, on Mon 11 Jun 1:07
  10. dont worry about RORY MC, He will give his all at the­ us open, watch this space

    From gregor c, on Mon 11 Jun 0:58
  11. He hardly blew it.... come on! Even a par would not­ have been enough so give the guy a break. Certainly­ playing better than in the last few weeks so maybe­ hitting a bit of form at the right time. Just got to­ get a bit of run on the greens.

    From George, on Sun 10 Jun 23:12
  12. Has his poor farm coincided with his relationship to­ Caroline or am I just mistaken? just seems to be both­ he and Caroline have pretty much hit the skids since­ they became an item and neither can win to save­ themselves at the minute.

    From Boris., on Sun 10 Jun 21:37
  13. Feel sorry for McIlroy. He needs to re-group. The guy­ can do it but he is going through a bad patch with all­ those wayward shots.

    From Anon 1, on Sun 10 Jun 21:09
  14. Even if Rory had made a par on the last Dustin Johnson­ would still have won so unlucky Rory, better play than­ you have been playing of late. Good luck at the US Open­ and well done to Dustin for making a good comeback­ after having a spell out with an injury.

    From Piecrust, on Sun 10 Jun 20:45
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