Monday, November 20, 2017
Golf

Dustin Johnson takes stranglehold on PGA's BMW Championship

RECOMMENDED READING


CARMEL, Ind. — Dustin Johnson plays a different game than anyone else, and he wanted to keep it that way.

Right down to his putter.

The U.S. Open champion made a late change just before starting the BMW Championship, and so far he has no complaints. Johnson finished with four birdies over the last five holes Saturday on soggy Crooked Stick for 4-under 68, stretching his lead to three shots going into today's final round.

He is smashing his driver long and straight, just like always. He is hitting wedges good enough for multiple birdie chances.

And now the putts are going in.

"The strength this week has been putting," Johnson said. "I'm rolling it really nicely. Even the putts that I'm missing still look like they're going in."

He was particular about the change, though.

Johnson decided to switch to the TaylorMade Spider. But right before he teed off in the opening round, he was bothered by one aspect of his new weapon. It was red, just like the model world No. 1 Jason Day uses. He recalled that his brother and caddie, Austin, had a similar model.

"I was putting good with it and right before we were about to tee off on Thursday, I'm like, 'AJ, don't you have the same one in black?' And he says, 'Yeah.' And I said, 'Go get it.' I just didn't want to use the same putter Jason was — like, the exact same one. That was really the only reason I changed," Johnson said.

Eighteen birdies and one eagle putt later, Johnson was at 18-under 198 and closing in on his third victory of the year.

Paul Casey did his best to stay with him. Casey, coming off a runnerup finish on Labor Day at the TPC Boston, matched two of Johnson's birdies during his late run until he had to scramble for pars on the last two holes. He still managed a bogey-free 68 and will be in the final group today.

Johnson is going for his third victory of the year, which would move him to the top of the FedEx Cup going into the finale at the Tour Championship in two weeks.

Still in the mix was J.B. Holmes, who shot 68 and was four behind. Holmes at least is making a compelling case to be a captain's pick for the Ryder Cup when Davis Love announces three of his selections Monday. Holmes finished 10th in the U.S. standings.

Comments
Ariya Jutanugarn rallies past Lexi Thompson to win LPGA’s Tour Championship

Ariya Jutanugarn rallies past Lexi Thompson to win LPGA’s Tour Championship

NAPLES — Lexi Thompson never had a putt so short that was potentially worth so much. She had a one-shot lead when she settled over a 2-foot par putt on the final hole Sunday at the Tour Championship. A victory would be worth $500,000 in prize money ...
Updated: 7 hours ago

Rookie Sung Hyun Park continues to roll at LPGA’s Tour Championship

NAPLES — Golf felt so easy to Sung Hyun Park that only when she took out her card to catch up on her scores did she realize she had closed out the front nine with five straight birdies Friday at the Tour Championship. Park kept right on attacking. Th...
Published: 11/17/17
Kevin Sutherland wins Charles Schwab Cup Championship, takes Champions season title

Kevin Sutherland wins Charles Schwab Cup Championship, takes Champions season title

PHOENIX — Kevin Sutherland finally broke through on the Champions Tour, taking the season-ending Charles Schwab Cup Championship — and topping the yearlong competition, too. Sutherland closed with 5-under 66 Sunday for a one-stroke victory over Vijay...
Published: 11/12/17

Paul Goydos leads at Champions Tour’s season finale

PHOENIX — Defending champion Paul Goydos took a one-stroke lead Saturday in the Champions Tour’s season-ending Charles Schwab Cup Championship. Goydos, a first-round co-leader, shot 5-under 66 to reach 12-under 130 at Phoenix Country Club. "This golf...
Published: 11/11/17

Trio share first-round lead at Champions Tour’s Charles Schwab Cup

PHOENIX — Defending champion Paul Goydos and major winners Vijay Singh and Lee Janzen shot 7-under 64 Friday to share the first-round lead in the Charles Schwab Cup Championship. Bernhard Langer, trying to sweep the Champions Tour’s three playoff eve...
Published: 11/10/17

Patrick Cantlay wins Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in playoff

LAS VEGAS — Patrick Cantlay won the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open on Sunday in a playoff for the first victory in a PGA Tour career mostly derailed by a severe back injury. The former UCLA star, 25, hit from behind a tree and got up-and-down f...
Published: 11/05/17
J.J. Spaun, Beau Hossler tied for lead at Shriners Hospitals for Children Open

J.J. Spaun, Beau Hossler tied for lead at Shriners Hospitals for Children Open

LAS VEGAS — Beau Hossler and J.J. Spaun shared the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open lead Saturday after another breezy day at TPC Summerlin. Hossler birdied the par-4 15th and 18th holes for his bogey-free 5-under 66, the best round of the day in...
Updated one month ago

J.J. Spaun takes second-round lead at Shriners Hospitals for Children Open

LAS VEGAS — J.J. Spaun shot 6-under 65 on Friday at breezy TPC Summerlin to take the lead in the suspended second round of the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open. Spaun rebounded from bogey on the par-4 third with birdies on the par-4 fourth and pa...
Updated one month ago

Kim Meen-Whee leads Shriners Hospitals for Children Open

LAS VEGAS — Kim Meen-Whee birdied two of his final three holes for 6-under 65 and a one-stroke clubhouse lead Friday in the PGA Tour’s Shriners Hospitals for Children Open. The 25-year-old South Korean birdied all three par-5 holes at TPC Summerlin, ...
Updated one month ago
Justin Rose overcomes eight-shot deficit to win HSBC Champions

Justin Rose overcomes eight-shot deficit to win HSBC Champions

SHANGHAI — Justin Rose posed with the trophy from the balcony high above the 18th green at Sheshan International, a moment that didn’t seem possible. He started the final round eight shots behind Dustin Johnson, the No. 1 player in the world. "The be...
Updated one month ago