DUSTIN JOHNSON won the 2012 St Jude Classic today in just his second tournament back from injury while Australia’s Nick O’Hern is ruing a lost opportunity.
Still seeking his first US PGA Tour win, O’Hern began the day as joint leader and on a congested leaderboard was still well in contention until he put his drive on the 18th into the water.
The resulting bogey saw him finish 7-under overall, tied for third three strokes behind Johnson.
O’Hern, whose previous best this year was a T27 at the Farmers Insurance Open in January, was joined in the 18th dam by a resurgent Rory McIlroy and American Chad Campbell. All three had a chance at the last to tie the leader with a birdie but ended with bogey or worse.
Johnson, out for three months with a back injury, had no trouble finding hard ground on the last with a typical massive three wood.
He resulting par capped closing birdies on 16 and 17 for a 4-under 66 to finish on 9-under.
“Well, it feels really good, especially having so much time off,” Johnson said after taking his 6th PGA Tour win at the age of just 27.
John Merrick (68) was outright second a stroke further back while O’Hern (69) tied with America’s Campbell (68), Ryan Palmer (66) and Davis Love III (69).
Robert Allenby also had a good tournament with his final round 69 seeing him tied with McIlroy (69), Ken Duke (65) and Korea’s Seung-Yul Noh (66) on 6-under.
After three missed cuts in succession the US Open defending champion McIlroy was back to some of his best with only his putting at times– and a double bogey on the last – keeping him from victory ahead of the showdown with Tiger Woods and others at the Olympic Club in San Francisco this week.
The 23 year old wasn’t due to play in the TPC Southwind event in Memphis but after his poor recent form knew he needed to turnhis game around with more competitive golf.
“I wanted to come here this week just to get some competitive rounds,” the Northern Irishman said. “I said in the early part of the week, if I got into contention, that was great. I did that. I had a real good chance to win the golf tournament. I didn’t do that. I’m happy I came here, and I feel like I’m well prepared going into the U.S. Open.”
Nine Aussies will contest the US Open this week including Adam Scott, Jason Day, Geoff Ogilvy, John Senden, Aaron Baddeley, Brendan Jones, Anthony Summers, Rod Pampling and Alistair Presnell.2012 St Jude Classic Final Results