Johnson’s one shot victory over Scott Piercy at the WGC Bridgestone Invitational in Akron, Ohio, today will not move Johnson to the number two position in the world but it gets him very close to Jordan Spieth in that regard and serves notice that he might well move even higher following the upcoming Open Championship. (footnote he has just edged Spieth as number two)
Johnson produced consecutive weekend rounds of 66 at the famed South Course at the Firestone Country Club to come from six shots off Jason Day’s 36 hole pace and three off the 54 hole pace to catch and pass some of the game’s best.
Not only is it that Johnson is winning but that he has been remarkably consistent in 2016, this win his 9th top ten in 14 starts in 2016. His win at Oakmont has added another dimension to his career and with that off his back he appears as if he will continue to play with the confidence and subsequent success.
Johnson said as much during his post round press conference. “I mean, it definitely gives me a lot of confidence, and maybe free me up, too. I don't know, I'm definitely a little more relaxed out there on the golf course, especially coming down the stretch.
"Today I felt I was in a really good place, really calm, collected, just focusing on what I was doing. Just playing golf.”
“It's the first time I've won two tournaments in a row. I know it wasn't like two consecutive tournaments, but consecutive tournaments that I played. I mean, that's big. I'm excited and looking forward to going over to the British with the golf game in good form.”
Day appeared to be cruising to yet another victory, especially after an early pitch in for eagle at the 2nd today, but missed the green at the 15th and took bogey then at the 16th after turning his tee shot over and into the trees found a way to take double bogey after laying up into the trees and then finding the water with his third. He then needed birdies at the final two holes if he was to catch Johnson but the task was just too great.
Another bogey at the last when perhaps pressing too hard for outright second cost Day not only outright second but a share of second and he finished up in a share of 3rd.
“I played pretty good up until obviously the putt on 15,” said Day. “I hit it a little bit hard through the break and that obviously cost me a bogey there. 16 is always a tough par-5 anyways if you don't get a good drive there.
“It's really tough to get any sort of wedge in your hand and kind of made a mess of it. I was just sitting there really thinking about -- especially on my third shot, I tried to hit it just left of the green. You can't hit it -- if you're trying to hit a low punch cut around the corner, that's what I was trying to go for, and I hit a good shot, I just didn't hit it hard enough. If I hit it long and left into the trees, then it's a difficult up-and-down, and it obviously brings out of bounds into play, too.
“But yeah, to be honest, I played pretty good golf up until 16. I really had two bad holes. I mean, I had a couple bogeys, but really kind of one hole that derailed me, which was 16.
“Yeah, I mean, it's obviously disappointing to not get the win here, but I feel like it's coming around nicely. I'm playing some pretty good golf. Played good golf after the opening round at the U.S. Open, came home pretty strong, and this week I've played pretty solid. But obviously my goal is to try and win. Every time I tee it up, I'm trying to win a golf tournament, and unfortunately just fell a little bit short.”
Jordan Spieth reminded all that he is still very much in the mix when he shared 3rd position with Day, Matt Kuchar and Kevin Chappell.
Adam Scott finished as the next best of the Australians behind Day when he tied for 10th.
The PGA Tour now has a week off as a result of the cancellation of the Greenbrier Classic due to flooding issues but many will be heading to Scotland for this week’s Scottish Open in Inverness or preparing for the Open Championship which begins in eleven days’ time.
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