John­son claims Trav­el­ers to keep PGA Tour streak alive

Arab News - - Sport News - AFP New York

Dustin John­son fired a 3-un­der 67 to claim a one-shot vic­tory at the Trav­el­ers Cham­pi­onship and keep his tour­na­ment win streak alive on Sunday.

For­mer world No. 1 John­son bagged his first tour­na­ment win since Fe­bru­ary 2019 after a clos­ing 67 at TPC River High­lands in Cromwell, Con­necti­cut.

John­son, who started the day two shots adrift of third round leader Bren­don Todd after a bril­liant 61 on Satur­day, held his nerve after a late wob­ble fol­low­ing a weather de­lay.

The vic­tory means John­son has now won at least one tour­na­ment in each of the 13 sea­sons he has been on the PGA Tour, a feat matched only by an elite group of play­ers that in­cludes Jack Nick­laus, Arnold Palmer, Lee Trevino and Tiger Woods.

“Ob­vi­ously it’s a great streak and any time you’re men­tioned with those names it’s good,” said John­son, who fin­ished on 19 un­der, one clear of Kevin Streel­man.

“I’m proud of my­self for con­tin­u­ing the streak, and I want to keep it go­ing, but it was a long time be­tween wins — hope­fully it won’t be as long un­til the next one. Al­though the tour­na­ment was played with­out spec­ta­tors be­cause of the coro­n­avirus, John­son ad­mit­ted he had been ner­vous after a weather de­lay with three holes re­main­ing.

“Even though there’s no fans, you still feel the pres­sure,” John­son said. “The weather de­lay didn’t help very much be­cause I had time to start think­ing ... but I fig­ured out a way to get it done.”

The 36-year-old laid the foun­da­tions for vic­tory with a run of three straight birdies ei­ther side of the turn to take sole pos­ses­sion of the lead as part­ner Todd strug­gled to make any birdies over the front nine.

After a bo­gey on the sev­enth which saw him re­lin­quish a share of the lead, John­son bounced back with a curl­ing 27-foot birdie putt on the eighth to get back to 18 un­der.

He took the lead on the ninth after drilling a 126-yard sec­ond shot to within five feet of the pin be­fore rolling

in the sim­plest of birdie putts.

John­son then pressed home his ad­van­tage on the 10th, stroking in an­other long birdie putt to go two shots clear.

John­son looked to have taken an unas­sail­able grip on the lead when Todd, who opened with 11 con­sec­u­tive pars, then triple-bo­geyed the 12th to fall out of con­tention.

But John­son’s serene progress came un­stuck on the par-5 13th, when his drive off the tee drifted out of bounds down the left side of the fair­way.

He lim­ited the dam­age by dig­ging out a bo­gey and then hit back on the 14th with his sixth birdie of the day, drain­ing a 16ft putt to take a two-shot lead.

John­son was forced to scram­ble again on the par-four 15th when his tee-shot flew down the left and only nar­rowly avoided the pond guard­ing the green.

John­son was forced to roll his trousers up and wade into the wa­ter for his sec­ond shot. He chipped from the rough and missed the green but was able to get up-and-down for par. By now the big­gest threat to John­son’s chances of vic­tory came from Streel­man, play­ing in the group ahead.

Reuters

Dustin John­son with the tro­phy after win­ning the Trav­el­ers Cham­pi­onship golf tour­na­ment at TPC River High­lands.

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