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Johnson not the only winner at BMW Championship

Published on NewsOK Modified: September 17, 2013 at 2:17 am •  Published: September 17, 2013
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LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) — Zach Johnson keeps going one day at a time, and it's taking him all the places he wanted to be.

He arrived in the suburbs north of Chicago at No. 27 in the FedEx Cup, wanting only to make sure he held down his spot in the top 30 so he could advance to the Tour Championship this week in Atlanta.

Johnson played the final 31 holes of the rain-delayed BMW Championship without a bogey. By making more putts than he can remember for a final round, he motored into the lead with two late birdies Monday and closed with a 6-under 65 for a two-shot win over Nick Watney.

Not only was he going to East Lake, he was headed there as the No. 4 seed, meaning he had a clear shot at the FedEx Cup and its $10 million prize.

Just two weeks ago, in the most recent FedEx Cup playoff event, he knew he was on the bubble for the Presidents Cup team. He wound up making a 25-foot birdie putt on the final hole of the tournament to earn the 10th spot on the team.

How did he get there? By thinking more about each round of golf instead of what the outcome might mean.

Now there are 10 million ways his September can get even better.

"It's hard to grasp the last two weeks of golf because I was trying to make that Presidents Cup team without trying to make it," Johnson said. "I was trying to get in the top 30 this week without trying to make it. ... I've got to remember it and try to utilize some of the things I've learned over the last three weeks — not trying too hard in certain instances when you're trying to make certain things. That's hard to do. I've failed at it many times.

"But if there's any pride, it's the fact that I was able to get the job done on those two occasions."

Watney can appreciate that.

After a mediocre season, he started the FedEx Cup playoffs at No. 63, assured of playing only the first two events. But he tied for ninth at The Barclays, finished in the middle of the pack at the Deutsche Bank Championship, and moved up to No. 34 going into the BMW Championship.

Needing a solid final round to get into the top 30, he nearly won the tournament. Watney opened with three straight birdies, made three straight birdies on the back nine and finished with a 7-under 64 that gave him hope of winning until Johnson made an 18-foot birdie putt out of the first cut of rough on the 16th green, and then took on another flag at the 17th and made a 12-foot birdie putt that essentially wrapped up Johnson's first win of the year.

"After I birdied the 13th hole, I kind of thought that I was going to make it to Atlanta," Watney said. "And then it was just about trying to make as many as I could to see if I could put a little pressure on these guys."

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