Johnson leaves them in his dust: American wins US PGA BMW Championship in record fashion
World number two Dustin Johnson fires a five-under par 67 to win the BMW Championship by three strokes ahead of England’s Paul Casey
World number two Dustin Johnson fired a five-under par 67 Sunday to win the US PGA’s BMW Championship by three strokes over England’s Paul Casey with a tournament scoring record.
The 32-year-old American, who captured his first major title at the US Open in June at Oakmont, finished on 23-under par 265 over 72 holes at the 7,516-yard Crooked Stick layout in suburban Indianapolis.
“I played really solid, drove it really nicely, wedged it really good,” Johnson said. “I played really solid all week.”
It was the 12th career victory for Johnson on the US PGA Tour and his third of the year, his personal best following his major breakthrough and the World Golf Championships Bridgestone Invitational.
“I’ve got a lot of confidence in every part of my game,” Johnson said. “All the work I have put in on my wedges has really paid off this year. I putted really great this week.”
In the 113th edition of an event that traces its history to 1899, Johnson broke the 72-hole record of 22-under set by Tiger Woods in 2007 and matched last year by Australia’s top-ranked Jason Day.
Casey settled for second place for the second week in a row on 268, his seventh runner-up finish on the US PGA Tour, after a 67 with American Roberto Castro third on 271.
Day withdrew from the event Sunday after aggravating a pinched lower left joint capsule reaching for a tee at the ninth hole, but was still able to finish among the five season points leaders.
That means Day would win the $10 million season points bonus if he wins the season-ending Tour Championship in two weeks at Atlanta. But so would points leader Johnson, Casey, American Patrick Reed and Aussie Adam Scott.
“I’m looking forward to the Tour Championship,” Johnson said. “It would definitely mean a lot if I win it. I’m going to go out there and play good golf and see what happens.”
Day was leading for the Vardon Trophy as the season low scorer but is now ineligible due to the withdrawal.
Johnson opened with a birdie to seize a four-stroke edge, squandered the lead after back-to-back lip-out bogeys at the second and third combined with consecutive Casey birdies, but then birdied four of the next five holes and roared to victory.
“I hit a couple squirrelly shots there,” Johnson said. “It was a little frustrating I lipped them out. It was nice to make a good birdie on four. I rolled the ball really nicely today. I made some nice shots after the first few holes.”
Big-driving Johnson, the 2010 BMW winner, went 15-under on the par-5 holes this week as he converted a 54-hole lead into a title for the third time in seven career opportunities.
Sunday’s results determined the 30-man field for the Tour Championship. American J.B. Holmes parred the last hole to lock up the last spots for himself and South African Charl Schwartzel with US star Rickie Fowler missing out. Had Holmes missed the final four-foot putt Fowler would have been in and Holmes would have been out.
Schwartzel, Holmes and Scott were in a pack sharing fourth on 276 that also included Americans Ryan Palmer and Matt Kuchar.
Casey, a 13-time European Tour winner who was runner-up to Rory McIlroy last week, won his only US PGA title at the 2009 Houston Open but was level with Johnson with 15 holes to play.
Johnson answered his consecutive bogeys with a 20-foot birdie putt at the fourth, a seven-foot birdie putt at the par-5 fifth and four-foot birdie putts at seven and eight to reach 21-under, restoring his four-stroke lead over Casey.
Johnson would add a tap-in birdie at the par-5 11th, a bogey at the par-3 13th and an eagle at the par-5 15th, sinking an 18-foot putt after Casey had made a 24-footer to pull within a stroke.