Johnson cruises to victory at BMW Championship
Crooked Stick, Carmel, IN: The Dustin Johnson victory locomotive seems virtually unstoppable heading to Atlanta and the season finale Tour Championship.
Johnson was in a class all his own storming his way to a three shot victory in capturing the BMW Championship title at Crooked Stick and in the process becoming the second player this year behind World No. 1 Jason Day to win three PGA Tour titles in 2016.
As well, Johnson joined Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy in capturing three FedEx Cup Play-Off titles to move to No. 1 in the standings with the final event of the year to tee-off on September 22nd at the East Lake club in Atlanta.
“I’m in a great position. I control my own destiny with the position I’m in but I still got to go there and win the TOUR Championship, if I want to be the FedExCup champion,” said Johnson.
There was the great sight of Johnson being met by his partner, Paulina and their daughter, Tatum before the World No. 2 was handed two trophies – the BMW Championship trophy and the Western Open trophy that had been the tournament from 1899 until 2007 when BMW took over the naming rights.
But it was great sight of what took place out on the course that impressed everyone and with Johnson’s marvellous 2016 now being compared to past seasons.
Dustin Johnson (Credit: BMW Championship)
“The big difference is my wedge game. My wedge game’s improved a lot,” he said.
“So I know if I’m driving it well and hitting it in the fairway and get a wedge in my hand I’m going to have good looks at birdies. Today I hit a lot of great wedge shots. Started on the first hole. And I continued to hit some really nice ones all day. I had quite a few really short birdie putts and that was the big difference.”
“Then, obviously, the putter’s been working pretty well this week. So, hopefully, that’s going to continue on into East Lake and we’ll be holding up that trophy at the end.”
And when asked if there was a time in the off-season that Johnson thought that 2016 would be his best season ever, Johnson answered in his own unique, laid-back manner.
“No. I always think every year’s going to be the best season,” he said.
But then when asked how does his compare his victory in the Indiana capital to his U.S. Open and WGC – Bridgestone Invitational triumph, Johnson remarked:
“The U.S. Open was obviously some really good golf that I played on a very difficult golf course.”
“I think this golf course is difficult, I just played really well this week. But my performance this week was definitely up there in the top of this year.”
Johnson also heads back into the USA Ryder Cup team in the best form possible and given he missed out on selection two years ago at Gleneagles.
“I had a great 2012 Ryder Cup as I went 3-0,” he said. “But in 2014 I missed out on selection.”
“I watched very little, but, yeah, that was probably the only tournament that I missed that I was kind of regretting, because it’s one of my favourite events to play, it’s so much fun, and I always look forward to the Ryder Cup, or the Presidents Cup.”
However before the Ryder Cup he does have the Tour Championship and the question already being asked who is going to stop the Atlanta victory bound train?
England’s Paul Casey, who fought Johnson all the way down the stretch here at Crooked Stick to match Johnson’s 67 but finish three behind, knows he’s in for some duel if the Englishman is to make it third time lucky.
“I ran into a buzz saw with Dustin Johnson the last two days,” said Casey who jumped five places to fifth on the FedEx Cup points table.
“I did everything I could. I hold my head up high that it was a great fight. It was fun to be making eagles against each other coming down the stretch and the kind of consolation price, although it’s a pretty good one, is I’m now controlling my own destiny when I get to Atlanta.”
“So though I’ve got no victories, it’s nice to be in that top-5. Also I am a firm believer of third time lucky.”
Indeed, being inside the top-five would allow Casey to take home the FedExCup if he were to win the Tour Championship and Johnson finished second.
Adam Scott failed to fire in the final round and had to settle for a five-way tie in 4th place. Scott’s finish, however, kept him in the race for the FedEx Cup at third place on the points table with Dustin Johnson at the top followed by Patrick Reed (2nd), Jason Day (4th) and Paul Casey (5th). McIlroy narrowly missed out after dropping to 6th place with his T42 finish today.
Despite Day being forced to withdraw from the tournament with a back injury scare, his management are confident he will be fit in time for the Tour Championship in a fortnight’s time.