Zach Johnson wins TO(s)C
By Torleif Sorenson on 1/7/14

The Wedge Guy would be proud.

Zach Johnson, who is not among the long-hitters on the PGA Tour, won the Hyundai Tournament of (some) Champions on Monday — not by pummeling the ball into submission off the tee, but with a top-notch short-game.

"I just picked it apart. I didn't deviate from anything I typically do on a golf course," Johnson told reporters.

After chipping in for birdie at the second hole, Johnson used his wedges to climb into the lead on Monday. At 12, he wedged from 83 yards to about two feet for an eventual birdie. At 14, ZJ went 3-metal — wedge to eight feet and grabbed the lead. At the steep 15th green, which features a false front, ZJ played against the grain to escape with a birdie, followed by another lovely wedge at 16 (highlights above), which gave him the last birdie he would need. His -7 66 on Monday gave him a one-stroke lead over 2013's consensus Rookie of the Year, Jordan Spieth.

This week's PGA Tour event, the formerly-season-opening Hyundai Tournament of Champions, has quite a few bonuses for the players fortunate enough to qualify. Besides staying at a posh, luxury resort and playing a popular course, this is a limited field event with no cut. Even the guy who finishes last will take home a nice portion of the US $5,7 million purse.

Coming off his surprise playoff victory at Tiger's World Challenge in California, Johnson was able to keep the momentum going with the kind of surgical play that won him the 2007 Masters. As a bonus, ZJ is now automatically invited to next year's Tournament of Champions. And with this victory, he is now 7th in the Official World Golf Rankings.

Sometimes, nice guys finish first. Zach Johnson is one of them.

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[ comments ]
DougE says:
He played like a surgeon. It was satisfying to watch him. He is a class act to boot. Congrats Zach!
mustang6560 says:
Zach cost me several points in my fantasy golf league!
mustang6560 says:
Poor Derek Ernst. He was the only player over par at +9.
Duke of Hazards says:
I was pulling for Spieth, who played really well, but Zach is red hot right now. Wedges and short irons like laser beams.
windowsurfer says:
Zach is a Vokey wedge guy, right? Prolly does not matter. I think he could pick up a set at Walmart (or Canadian Tire, eh?) and make'em work. In fact: List of things Zach could use and STILL hit it stiff from 100 & in: frying pan...brake pedal from a 1970 GMC 1/2 racket...steel-toed boot...Coke bottle...Michael J Fox...

Jattruia says:
Speaking of Fantasy Golf. Is there an OOB league this year?
[ post comment ]
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