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A happy ending this time for Johnson: He wins BMW by a stroke
By Mike Spellman | Daily Herald Staff

Dustin Johnson holds the J.K. Wadley trophy after winning the BMW Championship golf tournament Sunday at Cog Hill in Lemont. Johnson finished 9-under par.

 

Associated Press

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Published: 9/12/2010 8:58 PM

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Finally, just a normal Sunday for Dustin Johnson.

No horrid starts like the one he suffered through at the U.S. Open in June when he took a 3-stroke lead into the final round at Pebble Beach and promptly lost it in the blink of an eye.

And no horrid finishes like last month's debacle at the PGA Championship at Whistling Straits where he hit his drive on the 72nd hole into a waste bunker, didn't realize it, and ultimately cost himself a spot in a sudden-death playoff with Bubba Watson and eventual champ Martin Kaymer.

No, this Sunday at Cog Hill couldn't have been scripted any better for Johnson, who hung in there most of the day, moved up when leader Paul Casey stumbled with 3 consecutive bogeys late while Johnson birdied 17, and closed things out with a methodical par on the 72nd hole to capture the BMW Championship by a stroke over Casey and 3 over K.J. Choi, Kevin Na, Matt Kuchar and the resplendent Ryan Moore.

"It feels great. I've had a lot of unfortunate situations happen to me on Sundays this year," said Johnson, who moved up from 16th to second in the FedEx Cup standings with the win. "It was a great day. You know, to finally get it done, especially after all the things I've gone through this summer, to finally get it done on Sunday - it can't feel any better."

The win was the second of the year for Johnson (AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am) and capped a wild week at Cog Hill, where the host course received as much heat from the pros in just a few days as it got from Mother Nature all summer.

It also capped off a wild Sunday in which the race for the top 30 spots in playoff points fluctuated as much as the stock market. Matt Kuchar retained his points lead, followed by Johnson, Charley Hoffman, Steve Stricker and Casey.

Dropping out of the top 30 were J.B. Holmes, Rickie Fowler, Bill Haas and Rory McIlroy. Dropping in were Moore, Na, Choi and Camilo Villegas.

"Let me tell you, this points system, it changes so quick. It's messed up," Villegas said. "It's just weird. But anyway, it's the same for everybody."

That includes Wheaton's Kevin Streelman, who eked in at No. 29 courtesy of a bogey-free 70. Streelman is the only player to start this year's playoffs outside the top 100 (102) and play his way to Atlanta.

The biggest name not to make it into the top 30 is one Tiger Woods (1 under), who closed the weekend with a 70 to finish the tournament well back. Woods ended up 42nd in the playoff points standings.

"Obviously I would rather be there," Woods said of playing in The Tour Championship. "I've played better than I have all this year. But it is what it is.

"I didn't qualify, and since I'm at home it also gives me two weeks to practice and prepare (for the Ryder Cup)."

For Casey, who was a surprise non-pick by European Ryder Cup captain Colin Montgomerie, his late stumble Sunday was a tough pill to swallow after looking like he might run away with the tournament.

"I tried to make some birdies on the last couple of holes but fell short," Casey said. "But congratulations to Dustin Johnson. He's gone through a lot the last month or so."

But now that's all behind him, or so Johnson hopes.

"I don't think I needed to prove anything to anyone; my golf speaks for itself," he said. "But to finally be back in this situation and finally get it done, it's an unbelievable feeling."