By Fergus Bisset published
Dustin Johnson played a flawless back nine in the final round of the BMW Championship at Cog Hill Golf and Country Club to win by a single shot from England's Paul Casey.
The American blew up in the final round of the US Open then incurred a penalty shot in the last round of the USPGA Championship for grounding his club in a bunker thus missing out on a playoff, but he kept his composure this time round to fire a closing 69 featuring eight pars and a solitary birdie on the back nine.
That birdie came at the 71st hole. Making use of his prodigious length from the tee, Johnson blasted over the trees with a slight fade to leave merely a sand wedge into the green. He flipped it on to tap-in range and duly converted for a three.
Then, on the final hole, Johnson unleashed another enormous drive down the fairway setting up a simple regulation par. It was all that was required for Johnson to secure the biggest win of his career to date.
"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."
With the victory, Johnson moves to second place on the FedEx Cup standings and now has a great chance to scoop the $10 million first prize at next week's Tour Championship.
One man who won't be in contention at East Lake is World Number 1, Tiger Woods. He finished the tournament in a tie for 15th but it wasn't enough to lift him into the crucial top-30 on the rankings so he won't be eligible to play next week. It's the first time in his professional career that Woods hasn't been eligible to play in a tournament.
"That's just the way it is," Woods said. "I didn't play well early in the year, and I didn't play well in the middle of the year."
European Ryder Cup team members Rory McIlroy and Ian Poulter finished outside the top 30 after the BMW Championship so will also miss out on a start at East Lake. Paul Casey and Justin Rose, overlooked for a wildcard pick for Celtic Manor, lie 5th and 13th on the standings respectively.
BMW Championship Cog Hill Golf and Country Club, Illinois September 9-12, purse $7,500,000, par 71
1 Dustin Johnson (USA) 68 70 68 69 275 $1,350,000 2 Paul Casey (Eng) 69 69 69 69 276 $810,000 T3 K.J. Choi (Kor) 71 69 69 69 278 $360,000 T3 Matt Kuchar (USA) 64 72 70 72 278 $360,000 T3 Ryan Moore (USA) 65 74 66 73 278 $360,000 T3 Kevin Na (USA) 70 69 69 70 278 $360,000 7 Retief Goosen (RSA) 67 71 71 70 279 $251,250 T8 Phil Mickelson (USA) 72 71 70 67 280 $217,500 T8 Steve Stricker (USA) 70 73 67 70 280 $217,500 T8 Charlie Wi (Kor) 67 69 70 74 280 $217,500
Note: Player in bold signifies Titleist ball usage only
Fergus is a golf obsessive and 1-handicapper. Growing up in the North East of Scotland, golf runs through his veins and it was concentrated by his time at St Andrews university studying history. He went on to earn a post graduate diploma from the London School of Journalism. Fergus has worked for Golf Monthly since 2004 and has written two books on the game; "Great Golf Debates" together with Jezz Ellwood of Golf Monthly and "The Ultimate Golf Book" together with Neil Tappin (also of Golf Monthly)... Fergus once shanked a ball from just over Granny Clark's Wynd on the 18th of the Old Course that struck the St Andrews Golf Club and rebounded into the Valley of Sin, from where he saved par. Who says there's no golfing god?