Zach Johnson shot an even-par 70 in the final round.
Mike Ehrmann/SI
Monday, May 18, 2009

SAN ANTONIO(AP) Zach Johnson left town with another Texas Open win, a PGA Tour distinction and the top spot in the FedEx Cup standings.

No wonder he's going to miss it here.

Winning at La Cantera Golf Club for the second time in seven months, Johnson needed just one hole to beat James Driscoll in a sudden-death playoff Sunday and successfully defend his title for his sixth career tour victory.

Johnson beat Driscoll, who rallied from eight strokes back in a final-round shootout to force the playoff, with a 10-foot birdie on the par-4 18th. The two finished regulation at 15-under 265 - one the 2007 Masters champion, the other a conditional-status tour player who was 141st on the money list last year.

Johnson won in the La Cantera finale, with the tournament moving to a new TPC course in 2010.

``It's bittersweet, but can't live in the past,'' said Johnson, who earned $1,098,000. ``I'm looking forward to the future.''

For now, that future includes the top ranking in the FedEx Cup standings over Geoff Ogilvy and Phil Mickelson - the only other two-time winners this season. Johnson also won the Sony Open in January.

He wouldn't have gotten this one without matching a course-record 60 on Saturday, when he erased a seven-stroke deficit in just 11 holes. Johnson is the first PGA Tour player to shoot 60 at least twice; he also did that at East Lake in the 2007 Tour Championship.

``Didn't anticipate 60,'' Johnson said Sunday. ``I mean, whoever does?''

Paul Goydos had a one-stroke lead with two holes to play, but closed with two bogeys for a 69, leaving him a stroke back along with Bill Haas (65), who birdied five of six holes on Nos. 11 through 16 but missed a 6-foot putt on the par-3 17th.

Australia's Marc Leishman (68), Sweden's Fredrik Jacobson (67) and three-time champion Justin Leonard (69) finished at 13 under. They were among seven players within one stroke of the lead with four holes left.

Driscoll was an afterthought at 7 under when the final round began, eight strokes behind Johnson and his group that included Goydos and Leonard. After wrapping up his 62, Driscoll had to wait more than an hour for Johnson to finish his round.

It was worth the wait, but it didn't last long.

``You want to put the pressure on your opponent. There's no doubt about it,'' Johnson said. ``It's not like he hit a bad shot. He hit 20-plus feet. He hit a good putt. So it just kind of went my way.''

Driscoll was in position for the biggest comeback in the history of the Texas Open, which dates to 1922 and is the third-oldest event on the PGA Tour. Instead, Driscoll settled for only his third top-10 finish since a runner-up effort in the 2005 Zurich Classic of New Orleans.

``When you get that close to a win and that close to going to Augusta and going to Hawaii for the first tournament of the year, it's a little disappointing,'' Driscoll said.

Goydos briefly topped a crowded leaderboard with a 13-foot birdie putt on the par-4 16th before falling back on the last two holes, putting the 44-year-old and sympathetic favorite out of the running.

Goydos was playing four months to the day his former wife died. His final flaw, muffing his chip shot to a measly 7 feet on 18, denied him a spot in the playoff.

Goydos, who started the round two strokes back, led after 36 and was eyeing his first tour victory since 2007.

``For 70 holes I did really good,'' Goydos said. ``Didn't hit a good putt on 17 and didn't hit a good shot on 18. And guys who play like that will do it.''

Johnson is the first repeat winner at La Cantera since Leonard in 2000 and 2001. Leonard was a stroke back at 14 under through 16, but his chances at a record fourth Texas Open title ended when his 7-foot putt on 17 didn't reach the hole for par.

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