14-1 Johnson retains Texas title

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Zach Johnson, tipped at 14-1 by Matt Cooper, duly retained his Texas Open title – but only after a play-off on Sunday night.

Zach Johnson shot a third-round 60 but still needed a play-off to successfully defend his title at the Valero Texas Open.
A day after the 2007 Masters champion had equalled the record round at the par-70, 6,896-yard Resort Course with an eight-birdie, one-eagle round of 60, fellow American James Driscoll shook things up with an eight-under-par round of 62 to take the clubhouse lead at 15 under par.
Johnson, who had held the 54-hole lead by two strokes from Paul Goydos, failed to continue the momentum he had enjoyed the previous evening, his closing round of 70 sending him into sudden death with Driscoll.
The defending champion had won his only previous play-off, at the 2007 AT&T Classic, while Driscoll had lost his, at the 2004 Zurich Classic and Johnson put himself in perfect position for a second such win with an approach shot to 10 feet.
Driscoll had a chance to reflect the pressure back on his rival from 29 feet but his putt broke right, leaving Johnson to successfully putt out for birdie and the seventh PGA Tour victory of his career.
Johnson had completed his round on Saturday night at the end of a day when threats of lightning and thunderstorms in San Antonio brought play to a halt for almost five hours.
His 60 gave him the clubhouse lead, the final putt rolling in as the hooter sounded to call play to a halt due to fading light, leaving his rivals to return on Sunday morning to complete their third-round play.
With all those rounds in the books, the 2007 Masters champion was the 54-hole leader at 15 under, two strokes clear of halfway leader Paul Goydos with Justin Leonard another shot back at 12 under par.
Playing in three-man groups from both tees to make up the lost time from Saturday, Johnson teed off for his final round with Goydos and Leonard but was not able to continue the momentum of the previous evening.
Level par for the day on his front nine, he bogeyed the par-four 10th to fall to 14 under, alongside Goydos, one under for the day.
Driscoll had joined Johnson in the lead with one hole left to play, seven under for the day after five birdies and an eagle at the par-five 14th and he moved into the lead with a 15-foot birdie putt at the last.
Johnson got back to 15 under and a share of the lead with Driscoll after holing out from 13 feet from the fringe of the green but Goydos’ round suddenly came to life on the closing holes with birdies at the 14th and 16th to move into the outright lead at 16 under.
Just as the lead came to him, Goydos threw it away, bogeying the 17th and 18th to finish at 14 under and in a tie for third alongside Bill Haas who had produced a final-round 65.
Leonard, the first round co-leader with Goydos, closed with a 69, in a tie for fifth place at 13 under par alongside England’s Brian Davis.
Davis had birdied the ninth, his 72nd hole, for a 66, his second consecutive top-10 finish following his tie for fifth at last week’s Players Championship.
Also finishing on 13 under was Australian Marc Leishman and Sweden’s Fredrik Jacobson, who birdied the last for a closing 67.
Canada’s Stephen Ames had been five under for his final round and in a tie for second place after 14 holes but a double bogey five at the 17th sent him back to 12 under for the tournament and into a tie for ninth alongside American Charley Hoffman.
Another Swede, Mathias Gronberg, scored his best finish of the year in a tie for 11th, following a 72 to close at 10 under for the week but Englishman Greg Owen’s tournament ended in disappointment, a final-round, two-over 72, sending him down the leaderboard into a tie for 32nd at seven under.
Further back was Sweden’s Richard S Johnson, who closed with a 73, three over for the round and back to level par for the week.
All the final round scores & totals in the USPGA Tour Valero Texas Open, The Resort Course at La Cantera Golf Club, San Antonio, Texas, United States (USA unless stated, par 70):
265 Zach Johnson 68 67 60 70 (Johnson won at the first play-off hole), James Driscoll 67 69 67 62
266 Paul Goydos 63 65 69 69, Bill Haas 67 67 67 65
267 Brian Davis (Eng) 65 67 69 66, Justin Leonard 63 68 67 69, Fredrik Jacobson (Swe) 66 66 68 67, Marc Leishman (Aus) 64 69 66 68
268 Charley Hoffman 70 69 63 66, Stephen Ames (Can) 66 67 68 67
270 Jonathan Kaye 71 68 63 68, Scott Sterling 68 63 69 70, Todd Fischer 70 67 64 69, Mathias Gronberg (Swe) 66 65 69 70, Garrett Willis 68 70 65 67, Mark Wilson 67 72 67 64
271 Patrick Sheehan 68 68 68 67, Kris Blanks 70 65 70 66, Bob Estes 67 70 66 68, Scott McCarron 70 67 67 67, Brandt Jobe 70 65 70 66, James Nitties (Aus) 68 69 66 68, Frank Lickliter II 69 68 65 69
272 Tim Herron 68 71 68 65, Paul Stankowski 70 69 67 66, Bill Lunde 73 65 67 67, Dustin Johnson 74 65 62 71, Shaun Micheel 67 72 63 70, Jimmy Walker 70 66 68 68, Scott Verplank 67 70 67 68, Matt Weibring 67 70 65 70
273 Kent Jones 67 65 70 71, Jeff Maggert 64 70 73 66, J J Henry 66 70 66 71, Kevin Stadler 67 68 68 70, Corey Pavin 66 72 66 69, Greg Owen (Eng) 65 68 68 72, Tim Clark (Rsa) 67 69 67 70, Matthew Jones (Aus) 67 69 72 65
274 Charlie Wi (Kor) 68 71 64 71, Marco Dawson 68 68 69 69, David Peoples 72 67 68 67, Mark Brooks 71 68 65 70, Lee Janzen 66 68 69 71, Wil Collins 67 69 68 70, Martin Piller 69 70 64 71
275 Aron Price (Aus) 69 66 70 70, Vaughn Taylor 70 68 69 68, Eric Axley 72 67 68 68, Chris DiMarco 72 66 67 70, Ted Purdy 64 67 71 73, Harrison Frazar 67 69 68 71, John Mallinger 67 64 72 72, Robert Gates 73 64 67 71, Briny Baird 68 66 69 72, Troy Matteson 72 66 68 69
276 Bart Bryant 70 66 69 71, J.P. Hayes 71 62 74 69, Greg Chalmers (Aus) 69 67 70 70
277 Chad Campbell 68 69 72 68, Jay Williamson 69 68 70 70, Gary Woodland 67 70 69 71
278 David Duval 66 69 72 71, Carlos Franco (Par) 71 66 70 71
279 Rocco Mediate 69 70 68 72, Jason Gore 70 69 67 73
280 Charles Warren 70 66 70 74, Richard S Johnson (Swe) 71 68 68 73, Scott Gutschewski 71 66 69 74, Matt Bettencourt 68 71 69 72
281 Anthony Kim 69 69 70 73, Nathan Green (Aus) 70 69 66 76
282 Tag Ridings 69 66 74 73
283 Matt Loving 72 67 72 72
286 Billy Andrade 72 67 71 76
WD: Robin Freeman 70 69 69

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