DJ banks $15m Tour Championship & FedEx Cup double

by | Sep 8, 2020 | 0 comments

Dustin Johnson celebrates his victory at East Lake (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)

Bernie McGuire

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Dustin Johnson was in a class of his own in marching to an emphatic double Tour triumph in capturing the season-ending Tour Championship and landing the FedEx Cup No.1 title.

Johnson headed home to Florida a mind-blowing $US15m richer in posting a closing round 68 to win by three shots with a 21-under par victory tally on the East Lake course in suburban Atlanta.

Fellow Tour Championship champ, Xander Schauffele (67) and Justin Thomas (66) shared second place at 18-under par.

Spaniard Jon Rahm (66) was fourth on 17-under par.

‘DJ’ went into the last day in the last round of a COVID-19 hit 2019/20 PGA Tour wraparound season leading by five shots at 19-under par with his rivals getting as close as two behind mid round.

“I got off to a really good start today and then managed to hit the fairways coming in and holed the putts on the back side coming down the stretch,” he said.

“The guys gave me a good fight out there today and it was something that’s always been a goal of mine in my career, and to be a FedEx Cup champion and finally get the trophy in my hand is amazing.

“I am very proud of the way I played as I have played really good especially over the last four tournaments.

“I’m looking forward now to a few days off and then the U.S. Open, so not much of a break but I am definitely pleased to be FedEx Cup champion.”

Johnson won $US5m for a 23rd PGA Tour success, a 25th of his pro career and a hat-trick of wins in 2020, with the three materialising in his last eight events.

He also pocketed a $10m windfall in capturing a first FedEx Cup crown as the Tour’s leading money earner, taking Johnson’s earnings in only 15 events in season 2019/20 to just short of $US11m, and that’s excluding the $US10m bonus.

Johnson’s now earned close to $US 83m on-course in PGA Tour earnings since a first Tour event at the 2008 Hawaiian Open.

In days to come, Johnson will be voted by his peers as the PGA Tour No.1 and he will head to next week’s U.S. Open favourite to capture what would be a second U.S. Open title.

‘DJ’ arrived in suburban Atlanta 34-under par for the prior two Play-Off events and brought the Bobby Jones’ famed Atlanta home also to its knees to be 55-under for the final three-events of the PGA Tour’s 2019/20 season.

Rory McIlroy ended his season officially posting a closing three-under par 67 for an 11-under par total and a share of eighth place, still good enough to pocket $US1m in prize money.

He went into the final round sharing eighth place and trailing 11 shots adrift of Johnson with McIlroy’s last event of 15 this past wraparound season a mix of four birdies and the two bogeys.

And if there was one hole that has summed-up McIlroy’s season since the lifting of the lock-down, it has to be East Lake’s 18th.

He horribly found water on day two in taking a bogey and then to wind-up his defence on both titles, McIlroy found a fairway bunker with his second shot, and just 90-yards out, he caught a ‘flyer’ with his third that found a back bunker.

McIlroy got a second ‘flyer’ landing his fourth some 32-feet from the flag before eventually ending his one-tournament winning 2019/20 season with a bogey ‘6’.

Earlier in his day, McIlroy grabbed a first birdie from just four-feet at the fourth while an eagle putt from 20-feet at the par-5 sixth missed the cup right for a birdie ‘4’.

It was the third time in four days McIlroy had birdied the sixth and his favourite in terms of birdies all week.

He bogeyed seven and then went within five inches in holing his second shot at the par-4 10th for the easiest of tap-in birdies before McIlroy holed another 20-footer in his round, this time chipping-in from just off the green at the par-3 15th.

McIlroy then made back-to-back birdies, for the first time since birdieing his closing three holes on day one, in holing a three-footer on 16 ahead of a par on 17 and the mishap at the last.

McIlroy now will have six days with his new daughter and it will then be back in the deep end at next week’s U.S. Open at Winged Foot.

McIlroy was just a rookie pro the last time Winged Foot hosted a major, that being the 2008 U.S. Open won by Aussie Geoff Ogilvy at five-over par.

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