Sunday, February 25, 2018
Sports

Final-hole gaffe means slim win

FORT WORTH, Texas — Zach Johnson won the Crowne Plaza Invitational for his first victory since winning this tournament two years ago, pulling ahead Sunday when Jason Dufner finally faltered.

Johnson was assessed a two-stroke penalty for failing to replace his ball to its original position after marking it on the 18th hole. That left him at 2-over 72, which gave him a one-stroke win at 12-under 268.

"I'm going to focus on the positives, because I hit a really solid putt, and it's a good thing I made it," Johnson said. "No harm, no foul. It was my fault."

Johnson moved his original ball mark out of the line of Dufner's putt on the 18th green. But he forgot to move it back before his final 5-foot putt.

Dufner, who led going into the round and was trying for his second straight win and third in five weeks, closed with 74.

"I didn't have it (Sunday)," he said. "I didn't play very well. I couldn't get the ball in the fairway." Dufner hit just three of 14 fairways after hitting 30 of 42 in the first three rounds.

Tommy Gainey (67) was a distant third at 7 under.

In what was essentially a match-play final round for the win, Johnson took command at the 414-yard 15th hole. Dufner's approach hit the left side of that green, then rolled into a ditch, leading to a triple bogey that put him four strokes back after Johnson's par.

It was the eighth PGA Tour victory for Johnson. He became just the fourth player with eight tour wins and a major — the 2007 Masters — since 2004. The others are Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Vijay Singh.

"In some respects, I kind of feel like I took down a lion," Johnson said about beating Dufner. "He's been at the top of his game."

champions: Roger Chapman got his first tour victory in one of its majors, winning the Senior PGA Championship by two over John Cook at Benton Harbor, Mich. Chapman, who led after 54 holes, shot 1-over 72 for a 13-under 271 total. Cook shot 69. Hale Irwin (68) finished another stroke back. Kenny Perry had a tournament-record 62 at Harbor Shores to finish five shots behind.

european: Luke Donald won his second straight PGA Championship and overtook Rory McIlroy for the world No. 1 ranking at Virginia Water, England. Donald shot 4-under 68 to finish at 15-under 273 and win by four over Justin Rose (70) and Paul Lawrie (66). This was Donald's second victory of the year; he won the Transitions Championship in March at Innisbrook in Palm Harbor. It's the sixth change at the top of the rankings in 12 weeks between Donald and McIlroy, who missed the cut after a second-round 79.

Also, Ernie Els apologized for his expletive-laced outburst about the condition of the greens Saturday. Tour chief executive George O'Grady said Els asked to see him Sunday morning, apologized and offered to make a donation to a charity for current and former tour members who need financial help. Els, who finished 5 under at a final-round 72, had been facing a fine for his comments.

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