Johnson joins elite with BMW title

Dustin Johnson holding the Western Golf Association Trophy for winning the BMW Championship, his third win this year. The world No. 2 golfer will be in Atlanta in a fortnight to play in the season-ending US$10 million Tour Championship.
Dustin Johnson holding the Western Golf Association Trophy for winning the BMW Championship, his third win this year. The world No. 2 golfer will be in Atlanta in a fortnight to play in the season-ending US$10 million Tour Championship.PHOTO: REUTERS

CHICAGO • Dustin Johnson joined exalted company with his three-stroke victory over Paul Casey at the BMW Championship in Indiana on Sunday.

The American golfer collected his 12th PGA Tour title since joining the Tour in 2008, a record bettered only by Tiger Woods.

Woods has 18 victories in that period, while Rory McIlroy also has 12.

Not that Johnson was thinking about his place among the elite as he recovered from a faltering start in the final round at Crooked Stick in Carmel.

It took him only three holes to give up his three-shot lead to Casey but four birdies in the next five holes re-established his advantage and he was never troubled again.

The US Open champion continued the best year of his career, carding 67 to finish at 23-under 265.

"I hit a lot of good shots, a couple of bad misses but other than that played really solid all week," Johnson, 32, said in a greenside interview.

"I got a lot of confidence in every part of my game, especially all the work I've put in on my wedges has really paid off this year. This week I (used a) new putter and it really worked."

It was the American's third victory of the year, his personal best following his Major breakthrough and the World Golf Championships Bridgestone Invitational.

England's Casey also shot 67 for second place on 20 under, his second consecutive runner-up finish, with American Roberto Castro (67) another three shots back in third place.

With his third win of the year, Johnson jumped to top spot on a FedEx Cup points list as the top 30 players advance to the season finale Tour Championship in Atlanta in two weeks.

"I'm looking forward to the Tour Championship," Johnson said. "It would definitely mean a lot if I win it.

"I'm going to go out there and play good golf and see what happens."

Among notables to fall outside the top 30 and miss out on a chance at the US$10 million (S$13.62 million) jackpot were American Rickie Fowler, Spaniard Sergio Garcia, American Brooks Koepka and Swede Henrik Stenson.

REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 13, 2016, with the headline 'Johnson joins elite with BMW title'. Print Edition | Subscribe