NORTON, Mass. — Dustin Johnson had simply overlooked an easy six-foot birdie putt at the 9th hollow on the Northern Accept as true with golfing event Sunday, squandering a possibility to increase his commanding lead within the match’s ultimate spherical. Then, strolling throughout a side road to the 10th tee, he tripped and stumbled prior to regaining his footing.
The proverbial bump within the street? Two hiccups that would possibly derail, or unnerve the famously tranquil Johnson?
Now not a possibility. Johnson hammered an iron shot 267 yards into the center of the 10th fairway then made a relaxed par. Two holes later, he expanded his result in 9 strokes over his closest competitor, Harris English. The rout persisted, interrupted most effective by means of a 75-minute thunderstorm prolong, however in spite of everything, Johnson had his 22nd PGA Excursion victory and took the lead after the outlet match of the 2020 FedEx Cup playoffs.
Johnson’s ultimate spherical 63 on the Northern Accept as true with, coupled with a career-low 60 on Friday and two different rounds within the 60s, left him 30 beneath par for the event. English, who shot 69 on Sunday, was once 2nd at 19 beneath par. It was once Johnson’s 2nd victory for the reason that PGA Excursion resumed in mid-June after a three-month layoff on account of the Covid-19 pandemic and his 3rd time successful the Northern Accept as true with.
“My ball-striking was once incredible; I discovered one thing on Wednesday,” Johnson mentioned. “I used to be swinging in reality just right however one thing clicked on Wednesday.”
Johnson started the day with a five-stroke lead and briefly made a observation to the remainder of the sector on the second one hollow when he rolled in a six-foot eagle putt. From there, Johnson most effective stomped at the accelerator, with birdies in 4 of his subsequent six holes. It was once an excellent stretch, even if now not just about as putting as Friday’s spherical when Johnson was once 11-under-par thru his first 11 holes — a efficiency constructed on correct, robust tee photographs, deft iron play and assured, exact hanging.
As English, who additionally had 4 rounds within the 60s throughout the event, mentioned of Johnson in a tv interview throughout the rain prolong: “Dustin hasn’t overlooked a shot and he’s hanging in reality neatly. That’s a difficult aggregate.”
For Johnson, this month has been a exceptional revival from a dreadful July when he shot 80 in back-to-back rounds on the Memorial Event and overlooked the lower. At his subsequent event, he opened with a 78 and promptly withdrew. However the respite ended in a turnaround in August which has noticed Johnson file 12 successive rounds within the 60s, together with on the P.G.A. Championship when he completed tied for 2nd. With Sunday’s victory, Johnson additionally turns into the No. 1 ranked participant in males’s golfing because the PGA Excursion nears the shut of its truncated 2020 season.
“Clearly, I’ve were given myself right into a in reality just right place,” Johnson mentioned of the FedEx Cup playoffs, which he hasn’t ever received. “It’s simply one thing that I might in reality love to have on my résumé after I’m carried out enjoying golfing. It’s a large name. It way so much to all of the guys out right here.”
About seven hours prior to Johnson completed, Tiger Woods, who slightly made the lower for the second one part of the event, finished a notable spherical. After two desultory rounds Friday and Saturday when he shot a mixed two over par and fell out of rivalry, Woods rebounded on Sunday by means of birdieing his first 4 holes. He closed with a five-under-par 66 to complete at six beneath for the event.
Sadly for Woods, his rally might not be sufficient to stay alive a bid for a 3rd FedEx Cup name. Woods will play in subsequent week’s BMW Championship on the Olympia Fields Nation Membership in Illinois, however he’s going to desire a stellar time out to advance to the overall spherical of the FedEx Cup playoffs. Woods’s end Sunday left him in 57th position within the FedEx Cup standings. Handiest the highest 30 golfers will qualify for the overall match of the playoffs, the Excursion Championship on the East Lake Golfing Membership in Atlanta, Sept. four to 7.
Woods knew the mathematics after his spherical Sunday, and had one answer for buying into the highest 30: win the BMW Championship.
“I don’t know what the quantity might be for me to transport directly to East Lake, however clearly a ‘W’ surely will get it carried out,” he mentioned.
General, Woods mentioned he felt have compatibility after the 4 rounds of the Northern Accept as true with, which doubtlessly may well be the primary of 4 tournaments he performs in 5 weeks. He mentioned his surgically repaired again, which has hampered him periodically this season, didn’t issue into his play.
“My frame feels lovely just right,” Woods mentioned. “You realize, that is going to be a protracted haul both means. With a bit of luck, I am getting into the Excursion Championship and that is helping me get able for the U.S. Open.”
Woods performed on Sunday with Rory McIlroy, who additionally completed close to the ground of the leaderboard. Later on, McIlroy admitted that he persisted to be disquieted by means of the eerie silence of professional golfing’s fan-less surroundings, a essential, if unpopular, situation of the excursion because it resumed on June 11.
McIlroy, who has had an asymmetric summer season with six finishes out of doors the highest 30 in his closing seven occasions, mentioned he misses the power and motivation that 1000’s of fanatics dropped at tournaments. It’s greater than a lack of cheering: there’s a sameness to every event with out the quirks and eccentricities that fanatics from other areas deliver to a carrying match.
“That is going to sound in reality dangerous, however I believe like the previous few weeks, I’ve simply been going throughout the motions,” mentioned McIlroy, who shot 69 on Sunday to complete 28 strokes at the back of Johnson. “I wish to get an depth and a few kind of hearth, however I simply haven’t been in a position to. And glance, that’s partially to do with the ambience and partially to do with how I’m enjoying. I’m now not inspiring myself and I’m seeking to get inspiration from out of doors resources to get one thing going.”