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Johnson defends Texas Open title

FedEx Cup leader birdies playoff hole to beat Driscoll

May 18, 2009

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San Antonio — James Driscoll didn’t see where Zach Johnson’s approach landed on the first hole of a sudden-death playoff Sunday.

He didn’t have to. Thanks to the gallery, he heard it.

“I figured it was about 10 feet,” Driscoll said.

The crowd got even louder when Johnson sank the birdie putt to defend his Texas Open title successfully and end Driscoll’s unlikely final-round surge from eight strokes back at La Cantera Golf Club.

Johnson’s win capped a wild shootout in which seven players stood within a stroke with four holes left. The 2007 Masters champion followed his third-round 60 with a 70 to match Driscoll at 15-under 265, then hit the 6-iron approach in the playoff set up his sixth career PGA Tour victory.

“I feel very lucky,” said Johnson, who earned $1,098,000.

Johnson vaulted to the top of the FedEx Cup standings, passing Geoff Ogilvy and Phil Mickelson — the only other two-time winners on the PGA Tour this season. Johnson also won the Sony Open in January.

Paul Goydos had a one-stroke lead with two holes to play, but closed with two bogeys for a 69, leaving him a stroke back along with Bill Haas (65), who birdied five of six holes on Nos. 11 through 16 but missed a six-foot putt on the par-3 17th.

Australia’s Marc Leishman (68), Sweden’s Fredrik Jacobson (67) and three-time champion Justin Leonard (69) finished at 13 under.

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