Johnson Captures Permian Basin Open


Spurred by a pair of 64s to open the tournament, Kevin Johnson shot back-to-back 70s over the weekend to capture the BUY.COM Permian Basin Open.
At 20-under-par, Johnson finished three shots lower than Mark Hensby and four strokes clear of Todd Barranger, who finished solo third.
'This is pretty good because the year hadn't been going too well,' said Johnson, who celebrated the birth of his first child five weeks ago. 'It's definitely a surprise. I missed a lot of cuts and was dropping on the money list. One week can change a lot of things.' For the second straight day, Johnson wasn't able to find the form he showed over the first two rounds in Odessa, TX. But when he needed it the most, Johnson showed his mettle.
Playing in the final group with Johnson, Hensby managed to pull even with the 54-hole leader, primarily due to Johnson's front-nine 1-over-par 37.
Johnson's problems continued on the inward half. Though he matched Hensby's birdie at the par-5 11th, Johnson carded a bogey five at the 12th. Johnson now found himself one down. That's also when he found his game.
Johnson strung together three consecutive birdies beginning at the par-3 13th to move to 20-under for the tournament. That coupled with a Hensby bogey at the par-5 15th gave Johnson a three-stroke advantage with three holes to play. Both men parred out from there.
This is Johnson's third career BUY.COM victory, and his largest career paycheck. Johnson earned $72,000 for his first win of the season. That moves him from 58th to 16th on the money list.
Hensby's runner-up check of $43,200 increases his lead in 2000 earnings. At $284,943, he breaks Stewart Cink's 1997 single-season record of $251,699.