LAKE FOREST, Ill. – Zach Johnson is having a September to remember, and there is still one huge week to go.
In one tournament, he made a 25-foot birdie putt on his final hole to earn the last automatic berth on the Presidents Cup team. In the next one, Johnson made a bunch of big putts in the final round of the rain-delayed BMW Championship for a 6-under-par 65 and a two-shot victory over Nick Watney.
His victory Monday at Conway Farms gave Johnson the No. 4 seed going into the Tour Championship, giving him a clear shot at the FedEx Cup and its $10 million prize.
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“It’s hard to grasp the last two weeks of golf,” he said. “It’s not like you have to win every week to win that FedEx Cup. You’ve just got to win at the right times, or play well at the right times. And I like the momentum I have for next week.”
Johnson’s 10th career PGA Tour victory came at the expense of Jim Furyk, who endured another dose of final-round disappointment.
Furyk, who had a one-shot lead after 54 holes, has failed to win the last six times he had at least a share of the lead going into the last round. He holed a 12-foot birdie putt at No. 10 for a two-shot lead, but played the last eight holes in 2 over and wound up with a 71 to finish alone in third.
In the second round Friday, Furyk became the sixth player in PGA Tour history to shoot a round of 59; no one has a lower score.
“I don’t know if I used them all up on Friday and knocked them all in or what, but I just wasn’t able to get the putts to go,” Furyk said.
Johnson, 37, finished with a 16-under 268 total and earned $1.44 million.
The top 30 players in FedEx Cup points advance to the Tour Championship, which starts Thursday at East Lake in Atlanta.
Tiger Woods leads the standings. No. 29 Luke Donald, an Englishman who played college golf at Northwestern and is a member at Conway Farms, and No. 30 Dustin Johnson had the closest calls.
Ryan Moore (70) of Puyallup and Woods (71) were among the players tying for 11th place in the BMW at 9 under.
Moore, 51st in FedEx Cup points, failed to advance.
Donald (66) tied for fourth place at 11 under.
Watney (64) was at No. 34 entering the BMW and he went from playing his way into the top 30 to nearly winning the tournament. He was tied for the lead until Zach Johnson made an 18-foot birdie putt from the first cut on the 16th hole and a 12-footer for a birdie on the next hole.
“The guys ahead of me were ahead of me for a reason — they’ve been playing well all year,” Watney said. “Luckily for me, I kind of pulled everything together.”
The FedEx Cup points have been reset, meaning the top five only have to win the Tour Championship to capture the Cup.
The next four players in points after Woods are, in order, Henrik Stenson, Adam Scott, Johnson and Matt Kuchar.
Woods, who tied for 65th in the Deutsche Bank at TPC Boston before the BMW, doesn’t head to Atlanta with much momentum.
“It was not a very good putting week,” Woods said of his BMW performance.
“It’s just one of those weeks where I just didn’t have it.”