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Golf365 reveals the secrets of success of last week’s worldwide winners including, Pro-am champ Dustin Johnson.

Golf365 reveals the secrets of success for last week’s worldwide winners including, Pro-am winner Dustin Johnson.

DUSTIN JOHNSON
AT&T PEBBLE BEACH PRO-AM WINNER

In the bag

Driver – TaylorMade R9
Fairway-wood – TaylorMade V-Steel
Irons – TaylorMade TP
Wedges – TaylorMade rac & Titleist Vokey
Putter – Scotty Cameron prototype
Ball – TaylorMade TP Red LDP

Turning point

Let’s just say that the par-five 14th hole had some bearing on the tournament in the final round.

Uphill and playing 573 yards it is a three-shotter for almost everyone.

Except the term “three-shotter” (meaning, of course, three shots to reach the green) doesn’t really do justice to the havoc the hole wreaked on Sunday.

Eight players did manage to birdie it and 35 (including the winner Dustin Johnson) salvaged par, but 26 players failed and four of them racked up a big number.

Alex Prugh’s hopes of making a fourth top ten on the trot disappeared with an ugly nine. Before him Robert Garrigus had also took nine strokes.

Then Bryce Molder’s chances of a top five were dismantled by the same score and Paul Goydos – who had witnessed Molder’s score from the fairway – completed the quad-trick of quadruple bogies. Only in his case it was a shot at victory that slipped from his grasp rather than a bigger cheque.

Stats

It is easy to look at Johnson’s game and assume he is a big-hitting chancer, but his success last week was based on the ability to hit plenty of greens.

He ranked third for Greens in Regulation throughout the week and last year, too, he had shown a liking for the way the ocean courses in Monterrey fitted his eye because he ranked second on that occasion.

He also seems to cope with the bumpy poa annua greens. Some players dislike them intensely, but Johnson has always fared well on them and ranked seventh for Putting Average this year.

Insight

Johnson has made only three visits to the AT&T Pro-Am but he has certainly proved himself in love with the event.

This was his second win and on his debut in 2008 he was seventh – in fact, at the end of eight of his eleven rounds in the event he was placed in the top three.

He’ll be keenly anticipating the return of the US Open to Pebble Beach in June.

In his words

After three days of ripping up the courses on the Monterrey Peninsula, the leaders Johnson and Goydos struggled in the final round.

Johnson explained why: “I think it was a combination of everything. You know, playing the ball down (because) I had quite a few mud balls. You can’t control those. Sometimes they go straight and sometimes they go off the world. So that made it more difficult.”

“And then also, the pins were in great spots. They weren’t unfair, but they were difficult to get at. You had to hit a really good shot to get it close.
“And then also the wind had switched. I think the way it was blowing today was probably about the toughest wind on the course.”
ANDREW DODT – AVANTHA MASTERS CHAMPION

In the bag

Driver – Titleist 909D3
Fairway-wood – Titleist 909F3
Irons – Titleist CB
Wedges – Titleist spin milled
Putter – Scotty Cameron Prototype
Ball – Titleist ProV1x

Turning point

After 54 holes no less than seven players shared the lead at the DLF club in New Delhi and as the final three-ball made their way to the 15th tee the top of the leaderboard was still a log jam with seven players within one shot of the lead.

But the final three holes took their toll on some of those in contention.

Only two players in the field played 16, 17 and 18 in two under par – and one of them was the eventual winner Dodt.

No-one else in contention managed better than one-under and plenty did considerably worse.

When the pressure was at it’s greatest, the Australian’s composure was better than any of his opponents.

Stats

The figures back-up what the result tells us – this was the week when Dodt’s game came together; he not only topped the leaderboard but he also led the all round rankings.

He was long from the tee (fourth for Driving Distance), holed his putts (fourth for Putting Average), neat around the greens (sixth for Scrambling) and solid tee to green (22nd for Greens in Regulation).

He also broke par more than any other player in the field.

Insight

Dodt has played on many tours over the last few months but he has consistently hinted that a breakthrough was imminent.

On the Asian Tour he was seventh in Macau, then ninth in the high-class field for the European Tour dual sanctioned Singapore Open.

Returning home to Australia he started both the Open and PGA events well before fading.

When the Nationwide Tour travelled Down Under Dodt excelled in New Zealand and Moonah finishing second and seventh.

He was a man in form, if not especially well known.

In his words

“It was a huge relief when I birdied the 18th,” Dodt said. He had hit a huge drive there but missed the fairway.

“I had a pretty good lie in the rough and I was between clubs. I decided to be more aggressive and hit a pretty good shot but it just didn’t turn. The bunker was fine as it was kind of a standard bunker shot and I managed to hit a good one.”

AROUND THE WORLD:

CHAMPIONS TOUR

Fred Couples – ACE Group Classic winner

In just his second start on the Champions Tour Couples claimed his first win with a stunning final round of eight-under par. It was just as well he went low, however, because Tommy Armour III went even lower in the final round, shooting an eleven-under par 61 to set a target of 16-under that Couples only bettered with a birdie on the penultimate hole. It was an astonishing effort by both men – the next best score in round three was three-under and Armour III finished no less than seven shots ahead of third placed Scott Hoch. It was no surprise that Couples broke through in Florida as he is something of a state specialist (he won four times there on the PGA Tour).

SUNSHINE TOUR

Darren Fichardt – Dimension Data Pro-Am winner

Twelve months ago the two-time European Tour winner Fichardt’s career was in a mini-crisis as he had failed to keep his card in four of the previous five seasons. Recommitting to the game and playing full-time on the Sunshine Tour has reaped rewards however as he won three times in 2009. He sealed his first win of 2010 with an audacious 239-yard 3-iron that soared over trees and water surrounding the final green, setting up a winning birdie.

AUSTRALASIAN TOUR

Alistair Presnell – Cellarbrations Victorian PGA Championship

30-year-old local boy Presnell missed a short putt on the final green to shoot the magic number of 59 (“A few nerves crept in,” he admitted) but his 60 was enough to overcome a six-shot final round deficit and claim the title. He marked down 12 birdies on an unblemished

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