HARMAN FOILS JOHNSON’S QUEST
Brian makes stunning birdie to deny World No 1 fourth win in row
DUSTIN Johnson was in the clubhouse, tied for the lead and poised for a chance to join an elite class with a fourth straight PGA Tour victory. Brian Harman was on the last tee, knowing a birdie on the par-five 18th would be enough to win the Wells Fargo Championship.
Harman could have drawn it up differently, but not any better.
Switching from a five-wood to a five-wood for his 271-yard shot in the 18th, he went so long that he MEXICO CITY: South Korea’s 12thranked Kim Sei-Young edged Thailand’s third-ranked Ariya Jutanugarn 1-up in Sunday’s final to win the Lorena Ochoa Match Play title and capture her sixth career LPGA triumph.
Sei-Young, the 2015 LPGA Rookie of the Year, collected her first victory since last June’s Meijer LPGA Classic, winning the first three holes and fighting off a late comeback to win the needed relief from a corporate chalet. His chip became harder because of tree limbs that made him go low, and his chip came out soft and barely got onto the green.
And then he rolled in a 30-foot birdie putt for a four-under 68 and a one-shot victory over World No 1 Johnson and Pat Perez on Sunday .
“I didn’t hit a great chip. It didn’t turn out very good,” Harman said. “But I guess it went where it was supposed to.”
The greens at Eagle Point were so pure that Harman knew it was good when the ball was five feet from the cup. He turned and pumped his arms in a wild celebration that ended in a hug with his caddie, Scott Tway, for a victory that was a long time coming.
Harman won for the first time in nearly three years.
For Johnson, playing for the first time since a freak accident knocked him out of the Masters, it was the first time in nearly three months that he left a PGA Tour event without the trophy.
It wasn’t from a lack of trying. Johnson made the cut on the number, and then went 67-67 on the weekend, including a 15-foot birdie putt on the final hole, to nearly pull out another victory.
“I didn’t have a lot of time off, so I didn’t really know what to expect this week because I didn’t really get to practice leading into this tournament, either,” Johnson said.
“Not much has changed. The first couple days I didn’t play that great, but really played nicely on Saturday and Sunday and so I’m happy with where the game is going into next week.”
Johnson was trying to join Byron Nelson, Tiger Woods, Ben Hogan and Jack Burke Jr. as the only players with at least four straight PGA Tour victories.
He was hurt slightly by his mishap at the Masters, when he suffered a deep bruise on his lower back from the tumble down the stairs while still wearing only socks.
This was his first time playing in six weeks, and while there were signs of rust, he looked like the same old Johnson over the weekend as he tried to make up ground and almost did. AP
Dustin Johnson chips on the 18th hole during the final round of the Wells Fargo Championship on Sunday.