American Dustin Johnson has won the BMW Championship at Crooked Stick Golf Club (Indianapolis). The 32-year-old finished with a score of 23 under par (265 shots) to leave the world class field, featuring the top 70 players on the PGA TOUR, trailing in his wake.
Johnson, who claimed his first major title at the U.S. Open in June, had previously won the BMW Championship back in 2010. “DJ” joins Tiger Woods (USA, 2007 & 2009) as one of only two golfers to do the double at the penultimate Playoff event. Johnson receives a winner’s cheque for 1,530,000 US dollars for his 14th title on the PGA TOUR.
“On behalf of BMW, congratulations to Dustin Johnson for once again winning the BMW Championship,” said Ludwig Willisch, President & CEO, BMW of North America. “Dustin’s second round performance was nothing short of spectacular. We wish him luck as he continues his pursuit of the FedExCup at The TOUR Championship.”
124.800 golf fans flocked to the BMW Championship over the course of the tournament week, and they were treated to an impressive display from the new FedExCup leader. Johnson had proven at Tuesday’s opening event at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway that he can put his foot down at the wheel of a BMW M2.
“DJ” also appeared to be in a higher gear than his rivals over the course of the four rounds: a new course record of 63 propelled him to the top of the leaderboard on Friday, and the big-hitting American never looked back, defending his lead superbly on Sunday.
“Obviously, my performance this week was fantastic. The BMW Championship is a big event, with a lot of guys around the lead. I played some really solid golf the past four days,” said Johnson. “I’ve got a lot of confidence in every part of my game.”
The only players who came close to matching the pace set by Johnson were Paul Casey (-20, 2nd) and Roberto Castro (-17, 3rd). American Castro started the tournament with two excellent rounds of 65 (seven under par), but was unable to maintain that standard of play into the weekend, meaning he must wait a little longer for his first title on the PGA TOUR.
It was a different story for Casey, who finished runner-up at last week’s Deutsche Bank Championship: the Englishman put Johnson under pressure early on Sunday, shooting birdies on two of the first three holes to move into a tie for the lead with “DJ”. However, the overnight leader responded superbly with four birdies in the next five holes. History has repeated itself for Casey: when Johnson won his first BMW Championship title in 2010, the Englishman was again the bridesmaid, finishing one shot behind the winner.
Charl Schwartzel (RSA), Adam Scott (AUS), Matt Kuchar, Ryan Palmer and J.B. Holmes (all USA) finished 12 under par in fourth place. Schwartzel’s final round of 64 is particularly remarkable, as it propelled him 13 places up the FedExCup rankings into 30th place, securing him the final qualifying place for the TOUR Championship.
Defending champion and world number one Jason Day was forced to withdraw with back problems in the final round. Rory McIlroy (NIR, -3, T42), who won the 2012 BMW Championship in Indianapolis, and defending FedExCup champion Jordan Spieth (USA, -11, 9th) were out of contention this week.
McIlroy, who won the Deutsche Bank Championship last week, dropped into sixth place behind Casey in the FedExCup rankings going into the finale to the Playoffs. Johnson (1), Patrick Reed (USA, 2), Day (3), Adam Scott (AUS, 4) and Casey (5) are now best-placed in the race for the title of FedExCup champion ahead of the TOUR Championship in a fortnight’s time: these five players hold their fate in their own hands in Atlanta, with victory guaranteed to earn them overall FedExCup victory.
The BMW Championship will be held for the third time at Conway Farms Golf Club to the north of Chicago next year. The tournament then moves to the Aronimink Golf Club in Philadelphia in 2018, before the Medinah Country Club in Chicago provides the stage for the top 70 pros on the PGA TOUR in 2019.
Doubles at BMW tournaments:
Paul Azinger (USA): BMW International Open 1990 & 1992
Thomas Bjørn (DEN): BMW International Open 2000 & 2002
Tiger Woods (USA): BMW Championship 2007 & 2009
Luke Donald (ENG): BMW PGA Championship 2011 & 2012
Pablo Larrazábal (ESP): BMW International Open 2011 & 2015
Henrik Stenson (SWE): BMW International Open 2006 & 2016
Dustin Johnson (USA): BMW Championship 2010 & 2016