Zach Johnson captures Texas Open

By Associated PressMay 17, 2009, 4:00 pm
Bookmark and Share
SAN ANTONIO ' Zach Johnson successfully defended his Texas Open title, winning a sudden-death playoff with an unlikely contender.
 
Seven months after his first victory at La Cantera Golf Club, Johnson beat James Driscoll with a 10-foot birdie putt on the first extra hole after a final-round shootout in which seven players stood within a stroke of the lead with four holes left.
 
I feel very lucky, said Johnson, who followed his third-round 60 with a 70. The 2007 Masters champion earned $1,098,000 for his sixth career PGA Tour victory.
 
Zach Johnson and Damon Green
Zach Johnson gets hug from his caddie after his second win of 2009. (Getty Images)
Driscoll, eight strokes behind at the start of the round, shot a 62 to match Johnson at 15-under 265.
 
Johnson vaulted to the top of the FedEx Cup standings, passing Geoff Ogilvy and Phil Mickelson ' the only other two-time winners on the PGA Tour this season. Johnson also won the Sony Open in January.
 
Paul Goydos had a one-stroke lead with two holes to play, but closed with two bogeys for a 69, leaving him a stroke back along with Bill Haas (65), who birdied five of six holes on Nos. 11 through 16 but missed a 6-foot putt on the par-3 17th.
 
Australias Marc Leishman (68), Swedens Fredrik Jacobson (67) and three-time champion Justin Leonard (69) finished at 13 under.
 
Driscoll was an afterthought at 5 under when the final round began, eight strokes behind Johnson and his group that included Goydos and Leonard. After wrapping up his 62, he had to wait more than an hour for Johnson to finish his round.
 
It was worth the wait, but it didnt last long.
 
Johnson quickly won it with a 6-iron approach to set up his winning putt on the par-4 18th. Driscolls birdie attempt from 27 feet rolled 2 feet wide.
 
You want to put the pressure on your opponent. Theres no doubt about it, Johnson said. Its not like he hit a bad shot. He hit 20-plus feet. He hit a good putt. So it just kind of went my way.
 
Driscoll was in position for the biggest comeback in the history of the Texas Open, which dates to 1922 and is the third-oldest event on the PGA Tour. Instead, Driscoll settled for only his third top-10 finish and best finish since a runner-up effort in the 2005 Zurich Classic of New Orleans.
 
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, its a little disappointing, said Driscoll, who has conditional status on the Tour after finishing 141st on the money list last year.
 
Goydos briefly topped a crowded leaderboard with a 13-foot birdie putt on the par-4 16th before falling back on the last two holes, putting the 44-year-old and sympathetic favorite out of the running.
 
Goydos was playing four months to the day his former wife died. His final flaw, muffing his chip shot to a measly 7 feet on 18, denied him a spot in the playoff.
 
Goydos, who started the round two strokes back, led after 36 and was eyeing his first Tour victory since 2007.
 
For 70 holes I did really good, Goydos said. Didnt hit a good putt on 17 and didnt hit a good shot on 18. And guys who play like that will do it.
 
Johnson is the first repeat winner at La Cantera since Leonard in 2000 and 2001.
 
Next year, the tournament will move to a Greg Norman-designed TPC course.
 
Related Links:
  • Leaderboard - Valero Texas Open
  • Full Coverage - Valero Texas Open
  • Getty Images

    PGA Tour, LPGA react to video review rules changes

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 11, 2017, 1:32 pm

    The USGA and R&A announced on Monday updates to the Rules of Golf, including no longer accepting call-ins relating to violations. The PGA Tour and LPGA, which were both part of a working group of entities who voted on the changes, issued the following statements:

    PGA Tour:

    The PGA Tour has worked closely with the USGA and R&A on this issue in recent years, and today's announcement is another positive step to ensure the Rules of Golf align with how the game is presented and viewed globally. The PGA Tour will adopt the new Local Rule beginning January 1, 2018 and evolve our protocols for reviewing video evidence as outlined.

    LPGA:

    We are encouraged by the willingness of the governing bodies to fully vet the issues and implement real change at a pace much quicker than the sport has seen previously. These new adaptations, coupled with changes announced earlier this year, are true and meaningful advances for the game. The LPGA plans to adopt fully the protocols and new Local Rule as outlined.

    Getty Images

    Sharma closes on Monday, wins Joburg Open

    By Associated PressDecember 11, 2017, 12:43 pm

    JOHANNESBURG – Shubhankar Sharma won his first European Tour title by a shooting 3-under 69 Monday in the final round of the weather-delayed Joburg Open.

    The 21-year-old Indian resumed his round on the eighth green after play was halted early Sunday afternoon because of storms. He parred that hole, birdied No. 9 and made par on every hole on the back nine.


    Full-field scores from the Joburg Open


    Sharma finished at 23-under 264, three strokes ahead of the pack, and qualified for next year's British Open, too.

    ''I actually wasn't going to come here about a week ago ... so I'm really happy that I came,'' said Sharma, who shot 61 in the second round. ''I don't think I'm ever going forget my first time in South Africa.''

    Erik van Rooyen (66) was second, three strokes ahead of Shaun Norris (65) and Tapio Pulkkanen (68).

    Getty Images

    Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 11, 2017, 12:30 pm

    Sharma among three Open qualifiers at Joburg Open

    By Will GrayDecember 11, 2017, 12:16 pm

    Shubhankar Sharma earned his first career European Tour win at the rain-delayed Joburg Open and punched his ticket to The Open in the process.

    Sharma returned to Randpark Golf Club Monday morning after storms washed out much of the scheduled final day of play. Beginning the re-start with a four-shot lead, he hung on to win by three over South Africa's Erik Van Rooyen.

    Both men can make travel plans for Carnoustie next summer, as this was the second event in the Open Qualifying Series with three spots available for players not otherwise exempt who finished inside the top 10. The final spot went to Shaun Norris, who tied for third with Finland's Tapio Pulkkanen but had a higher world ranking (No. 192) than Pulkkanen (No. 197) entering the week.

    The Joburg Open was the final official European Tour event of the year. The next tournament in the Open Qualifying Series will be the SMBC Singapore Open in January, where four spots at Carnoustie will be up for grabs.