Johnson rallies to win BMW Championship

5:35 PM, Sep 16, 2013   |    comments
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Lake Forest, IL (Sports Network) - Zach Johnson fired a 6-under 65 on Monday and rallied to win the BMW Championship by two strokes.

Johnson, who won for the 10th time on the PGA Tour, finished at 16-under 268. It was his first win in a FedExCup Playoff event.

"I felt great about the day and felt great about the week, coming into this week," Johnson said. "Rather than worrying about Atlanta, my game plan was great. Mentally, it was to stay fresh and play this week for this week, each day for each day. That's probably what I'm most proud of. It may sound ridiculous, but I didn't want two weeks off before the Presidents Cup."

Nick Watney was one better than Johnson with a closing 64. That put him alone in second place at minus-14 and helped Watney become one of the two players to move into the top 30 on the points list, which gave him entry into next week's Tour Championship.

Third-round leader Jim Furyk, who shot a 59 in the second round, closed with an even-par 71 to end alone on third at 13-under 271. This was the sixth straight time in which Furyk had at least a piece of the 54-hole lead and failed to win the event.

Luke Donald used a closing 66 to earn a share of fourth place at 11-under 273. That helped Donald move into the top 30 on the points list and gave him a spot at East Lake next week.

Donald shared fourth place with Steve Stricker (72), Hunter Mahan (67) and Jason Day (66). Charl Schwartzel (69), Matt Jones (67) and Brandt Snedeker (72) were one shot back at minus-10.

World No. 1 and five-time BMW winner Tiger Woods managed a 71 and finished in a tie for 11th at 9-under 275.

The Monday finish was needed after rained soaked Conway Farms on Sunday and forced the suspension of play.

Johnson, who had three birdies on the front nine, rolled in an 8-foot birdie putt on No. 12 to join Furyk and Watney atop the leaderboard at 14-under.

After three straight pars, Johnson pulled away. He narrowly missed the 16th green, but rolled in his birdie putt from the fringe to take the lead by himself.

Johnson drained a 12-footer for birdie at the 17th to make it two in a row. He 2-putted for par at the last to seal the win.

Watney, who carded four birdies and a bogey on the front nine, made his charge with three consecutive birdies from the 12th to get within one of Furyk. Watney rolled in an 11-foot birdie effort at No. 17 to gain a share of the lead at minus-14.

At the last, Watney knocked his third to 22 feet, but failed to convert that chance.

"I knew I needed to have a good week. The guys ahead of me were ahead of me for a reason. They've been playing well all year," said Watney of the FedExCup standings. "Luckily for me, I kind of pulled everything together."

Furyk used birdies at four and 10 to move to 15-under, where he was seemingly in control. He came short of the green at the par-3 11th and rolled his second 13 past the hole.

The 2010 FedExCup champion failed to make the comebacker and found himself in a three-way tie for the lead. At the 13th, he came up short of the green and pitched just inside five feet. Furyk missed that putt to fall to 13-under.

Furyk got one back with a birdie on the par-5 14th, but he tripped to a bogey at 16, which left him three back. He parred the last two holes to end there.

"I think from tee to green, (my game) was plenty good enough. Say from holes six through 18, I didn't putt well enough. I didn't knock in enough putts," Furyk said. "I hit a some good ones that didn't go in, I hit a couple bad ones, but Strick and I had a hard time getting it going on the greens today."

NOTES: Johnson earned $1.44 million for the victory ... Harris English and Lee Westwood were the two players bumped from the field at The Tour Championship next week ...Johnson soared from 27th to fourth in the FedExCup standings ... Last year's champion Rory McIlroy finished his round of 68 on Sunday and ended in a tie for 59th. He will miss The Tour Championship.

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