Skip to main content

After Further Review: ZJ's attitude earns him win

Getty Images
AUCHTERARDER, SCOTLAND - SEPTEMBER 28: Rory McIlroy of Europe celebrates with the Ryder Cup trophy after the Singles Matches of the 2014 Ryder Cup on the PGA Centenary course at the Gleneagles Hotel on September 28, 2014 in Auchterarder, Scotland. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)  - 

Each week, takes a look back at the week in golf. In this edition, our writers weigh in on Zach Johnson's seriousness and short game that led to his second win in as many starts, as well as the lack of delays and "perfect" ending in the year's first event.

If any young PGA Tour pros need a lesson in treating the job with the seriousness it deserves, they should consult Zach Johnson. He’s not the longest off the tee or the best ball-striker or the greatest putter, but Johnson employs a work ethic and preparation which are unparalleled. Prior to last month’s Northwestern Mutual World Challenge, he held what can only be termed a Zach Johnson Summit, gathering the members of his team to talk strategy. Since then, he’s 2-for-2 at tourneys. There’s a certain seriousness he brings to the job – not just on the course, but off of it, too. There are some young players out there who might want to pay attention. – Jason Sobel

Zach Johnson will never, ever be able to overpower a golf course, and he doesn’t need to. In dissecting Kapalua’s Plantation Course on Monday, the short-knocker proved that he’s good enough to win on any track, long or short, claustrophobic or wide open. Averaging just 267 yards off the tee, he was downright clinical with a wedge in his hand and made seven birdies. If he plays like that, there’s no venue on which Johnson can’t win. – Ryan Lavner

One down, 44 more PGA Tour events to go, but at least the circuit is off to a solid start in its ongoing bout with Mother Nature. Last year’s Hyundai Tournament of Champions was reduced to 54 holes by heavy rain and gale-force winds. It was one of 22 events, out of 40, impacted by weather delays in 2013, from heavy fog at Torrey Pines and frost at the Waste Management Phoenix Open to a sudden snowstorm at the WGC-Match Play. Perhaps it’s not worth getting excited over one “delay free” event, but after last year the Tour will take whatever silver lining it can get. – Rex Hoggard

One year later, the timing of the Hyundai Tournament of Champions couldn’t have worked out better. While wind pushed last year’s finale into the middle of the week, this year’s edition was scheduled to end on the same day as the BCS National Championship game. I’m no TV ratings expert, but if I had to guess, I’d say going up against football is generally not a good idea. But with some weird karmic justice working in tournament organizers' favor, Zach Johnson’s stellar play down the stretch ended just in time, serving as the perfect undercard to the college football heavyweight fight. – Jason Crook