ZACH JOHNSON was penalised two strokes for a putting misdemeanour on his final hole but still had enough for a one stroke victory over Jason Dufner at the 2012 Crowne Plaza Invitational today.
Johnson and Dufner had faced off in the final round at the Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas, in a virtual match play for the title.
It was a see-sawing match before Dufner – looking for his third US PGA Tour win in a month – finally lost concentration and triple bogeyed the 15th.
Johnson had his first tour win for two years in the bag from then on, even when 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 with a 2-over 72, finishing at 12-under.
“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 (74) has had an amazing month, with two wins, a wedding and now this close second.
“Pretty good run, today obviously a little disappointing to play that poorly and not kind of a chance there at the end,” said Dufner, insisting fatigue wasn’t a factor. “I feel pretty good actually. … I just played really poorly today.”
Tommy Gainey hit a 67 to finish a distant third at 7-under while vetera Jim Furyk was alone in fourth one stroke further back after a 68.
Geoff Ogilvy was the best placed Aussie with his final round 69 seeing him tied for 19th on 1-under. John Senden (70) was 2-over at T37 after his promising opening round 69.
The US PGA Tour moves to the Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio, this week for the Memorial Tournament. Steve Striker will defend his title against a star–studded field that includes Rory McIlroy, Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Rickie Fowler and a number of Aussies headlined by Adam Scott and Jason Day.
2012 Crowne Plaza Invitational Final Leaderboard2012 Crowne Plaza Invitational Final Leaderboard