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Ex-Masters champ sets Colonial record

Zach Johnson plants one on the Colonial trophy after setting a tournament record with 21-under 259 and winning by three strokes.

Associated Press

Zach Johnson plants one on the Colonial trophy after setting a tournament record with 21-under 259 and winning by three strokes.

FORT WORTH, Texas — Zach Johnson now has a plaid jacket to go with his green one, slipping on his prize after an extended wait at the Colonial.

Johnson won at Hogan's Alley with a tournament record 21-under 259, sealing his victory with two birdies in the short span of play between two late weather delays Sunday.

When Johnson drained a 14-foot birdie putt at the 17th hole to take a two-stroke lead over Brian Davis, he had a wide smile and emphatically pumped his fist. But the real celebration had to wait.

"As far as momentum and a big putt, that was a big one," said Johnson, the 2007 Masters champion. "I didn't have a number in my head, but I figure if you get to 21, you have got a pretty good chance."

Johnson's closing 6-under 64 left him three strokes ahead of Davis, who had a closing 68.

"Zach won the tournament; I didn't lose it," Davis said. "It was a weird feeling walking up 18 knowing you can't win."

When the horn sounded to suspend play the first time, Johnson was approaching his tee shot at No. 15 that had landed in the right rough short of a bunker. After that delay, he hit his approach onto the green and made the putt to get back to 20 under.

When play was stopped again 31 minutes later, before he teed off at 18 for a closing par, Johnson was ready for the plaid jacket. "Quite frankly, the biggest one, I thought, was probably on 15," he said. "It calmed me down."

Scott Verplank (65) and Bryce Molder (70), who led after the second and third rounds, finished at 16 under.

CHAMPIONS: Tom Lehman has prided himself on outlasting his flashier opponents by playing steady if unspectacular golf.

Never was that more evident than when he won the Senior PGA Championship in Parker, Colo., with par on the first playoff hole, where Fred Couples and David Frost double-bogeyed after terrible tee shots.

Lehman began the sudden death playoff on No. 18 with a solid shot down the fairway before Couples' only bad tee shot of the tournament veered left into the shrubs, forcing him to take a drop.

Frost's tee shot ended up in the left bunker, and he pulled his second shot left of the gallery. He cleared out dozens of pine cones between him and the green before striking his ball, which was nestled in a shrub, across the green.

"That was just a bizarre playoff," Lehman said. "I'm not sure I've ever experienced anything like that. I turned to my caddie and I said, 'How many shots have they taken?' "

Frost and Couples finished with 6s before Lehman's birdie putt from 12 feet came up a quarter roll short. He tapped it from there.

Lehman shot 71 to begin the playoff at 7-under 281 for the tournament. He began the day as the co-leader with Jay Don Blake, who finished with 76 and tied for eighth place at 2 under.

EUROPEAN: Luke Donald's eagle on No. 16 helped secure a one-shot victory over Rhys Davies at the Madrid Masters. He shot 5-under 67 to finish at 21-under 267.

Ex-Masters champ sets Colonial record 05/30/10 [Last modified: Sunday, May 30, 2010 10:03pm]
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