Zach Johnson is having a September to remember, and there’s still one very big week to go.
In one tournament, he made a 25-foot birdie putt on his final hole to earn the last spot on the Presidents Cup team. In the next one, Johnson made a bunch of big putts in the final round of the rain-delayed BMW Championship for a 6-under 65 for a two-shot victory over Nick Watney.
His victory Monday at Conway Farms in Lake Forest, Ill., a Chicago suburb, gave Johnson the No. 4 seed going into the Tour Championship starting Thursday in Atlanta, giving him a clear shot at the FedEx Cup and its $10 million prize.
“It’s hard to grasp the last two weeks of golf,” Johnson said. “It’s not like you have to win every week to win that FedEx Cup. You’ve just got to win at the right times, or play well at the right times. And I like the momentum I have for next week.”
Johnson’s 10th career win came at the expense of Jim Furyk, who endured another dose of final-round disappointment. Furyk, who had a one-shot lead, has failed to win the past six times he had at least a share of the lead going into the final round. He holed a 12-foot birdie putt at No. 10 to build a two-shot lead, but played the remaining eight holes in 2-over par and wound up with a 71 to finish alone in third.
Furyk had to settle for a slice of history Friday as the sixth player in PGA Tour history with a 59.
The final 30 for the Tour Championship includes Luke Donald, who moved up from No. 54 by finishing with a 5-under 66 on a course where he’s a member.
Nick Watney moved up from No. 34 with a closing 64, a round that tied him for the lead until Johnson made an 18-foot birdie putt out of the first cut on the 16th hole, and a 12-footer for birdie on the next hole.
“The guys ahead of me were ahead of me for a reason — they’ve been playing well all year,” Watney said. “Luckily for me, I kind of pulled everything together.”
Players falling out of the top 30 were Lee Westwood and Harris English.
Puyallup’s Ryan Moore, who was trying to move up from No. 65 to reach the top 30, played all four rounds under par, including a 70 in the finale, but moved up only to No. 51.
The FedEx Cup points will be reset, meaning the top five have only to win the Tour Championship to capture the cup.
Tiger Woods will be the No. 1 seed in Atlanta, though he doesn’t go there with much momentum.
Woods started the final round in cool, breezy conditions just four shots behind and was never a factor after missing a short par putt on the opening hole. He closed with a 71 and tied for 11th, seven shots behind and tied with Moore.
“It was not a very good putting week,” Woods said, who was coming off a tie for 65th on the TPC Boston. “It’s just one of those weeks where I just didn’t have it.”
AMATEUR UP TO NO. 5
New Zealand teenager Lydia Ko rose three spots to No. 5 in the women’s world rankings following the amateur’s runner-up finish at the Evian Masters in France over the weekend.
Ko, 16, finished two shots behind Suzann Pettersen, who passed Stacy Lewis for the No. 2 spot in the world rankings behind Inbee Park.
Na Yeon Choi remains at No. 4.