John­son re­claims world’s top spot with St. Jude win

Manteca Bulletin - - Sports -

MEM­PHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Dustin John­son is back in his spot as the world’s top-ranked golfer thanks to a dom­i­nant vic­tory capped by an ab­so­lutely amaz­ing hole-out for ea­gle.

“What a cool way to end the day,” John­son said.

John­son shot a 4-un­der 66 on Sun­day mak­ing the St. Jude Clas­sic his sec­ond PGA Tour vic­tory this year and 18th of his ca­reer to take back the No. 1 rank­ing he held for 64 straight weeks be­fore fall­ing to No. 2 be­hind Justin Thomas a month ago . John­son won the event for the sec­ond time, fin­ish­ing with the ea­gle, three birdies and a bo­gey for a 19-un­der 261 to­tal.

“It means a lot,” John­son said of re­claim­ing the No. 1 rank­ing. “It was a long way to get there, and I held it for a long time and ob­vi­ously JT took it from me for a lit­tle while. It was nice to fin­ish like that and get it back.”

An­drew Put­nam started the fi­nal round with a share of the lead for the first time in his ca­reer. He shot 72 and fin­ished at 13 un­der.

“I feel like I stead­ied the ship a lit­tle bit after a rough start,” said Put­nam, who se­cured his card for the year with his best fin­ish yet.

Pre­par­ing for the U.S. Open, John­son took the lead to him­self with a par on No. 1, while Put­nam dou­ble-bo­geyed, and cruised to the $1.18 mil­lion win­ner’s check. John­son turned in the low­est score un­der par by a win­ner here since David Toms at 20 un­der in 2003 — be­fore the course was re­designed drop­ping par from 71 to 70 after the 2004 tour­na­ment.

John­son, who won the U.S. Open in 2016, heads to Shinnecock Hills after string­ing to­gether four straight rounds in the 60s. He went 67, 63 and 65 be­fore wrap­ping up a fi­nal round that felt al­most like a prac­tice round with the only ques­tion re­main­ing how low John­son would go un­til his fi­nal dra­matic shot.

No­body has ever won on the PGA Tour and fol­lowed by win­ning the U.S. Open. The way John­son’s play­ing, he sees no rea­son why he couldn’t be the first.

“I know what it takes,” John­son said. “I’m go­ing to have to play a lot like I did this week if I want to win next week.”

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