CHICAGO (AFP) – Zach Johnson, the 2007 Masters champion, fired a six-under par 65 Monday to win the US PGA’s $8 million (6 million euros) BMW Championship after Jim Furyk squandered his sixth consecutive 54-hole lead.
Johnson, a 37-year-old American, fired a final-round 65 to finish 72 holes on 16-under par 268, two strokes ahead of countryman Nick Watney, who closed with a 64, with Furyk another shot adrift after a final-round 71.
Johnson captured the $1.44 million top prize and his 10th career title, his first since last year’s John Deere Classic, as well as giving himself a chance to win the $10 million tour playoff crown in the season-ending Tour Championship that starts Thursday in Atlanta.
“It’s extremely difficult,’’ Johnson said of the importance of his 10th win in 10 PGA seasons. “The parity on the tour and in the world is second to none. I’m just thankful it has been 10 years and hopefully many more.’’
World number one Tiger Woods, Sweden’s Henrik Stenson, Australian Adam Scott and American Matt Kuchar can also claim the playoff title with a victory in the 30-man showdown at East Lake.
Furyk botched a chance for his 16th career title and his first since winning the 2010 Tour Championship with another final-round failure, following on from last month’s PGA Championship when Jason Dufner passed him to win the year’s final major title.
England’s Luke Donald, a member at host course Conway Farms, shared fourth with Aussie Jason Day and Americans Hunter Mahan and Steve Stricker on 273.
That allowed Donald to jump from 54th to 29th in the PGA season points race and qualify for the Tour Championship.
Watney jumped from 34th to 12th with his runner-up effort to also make the field in Atlanta, with England’s Lee Westwood and American Harris English bumped out.