CARMEL, Ind. — Reigning U.S. Open champion Dustin Johnson burned rubber earlier in the week at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Then he floored it at Crooked Stick Golf Club.
The world No. 2 left the BMW Championship field in his rear-view Sunday, calling on all his horsepower to win the third leg of the FedExCup Playoffs by three shots. With a final-round 5-under-par 67, Johnson finished at a tournament record 23 under and three clear of Paul Casey, who did all he could with a 67.
Paired with Johnson, Casey briefly pulled within one with an eagle on the 15th, only to see Johnson make an eagle of his own to re-up the lead to three.
With a new putter is his bag — which he took from the golf bag of his brother and caddie Austin — Johnson was just as intimidating on the greens as he is when holding one of the game’s biggest weapons, his driver. He led the tournament in driving distance, birdies and putts per green in regulation.
Johnson, who shot a course-record 63 in the second round, won his third PGA Tour title of the season — the first time in his career he’s won three titles in one season. He’s also won Tour titles for nine consecutive seasons.
"I’ve got a lot of confidence especially after all the work I’ve put in that is paying off," said Johnson, who has three wins and five other top-10s in his last 10 starts. "And the putter really worked. Those were four solid rounds.
"There’s still a lot of room for improvement. There’s quite a few things that I’m going to go home this week and work on. Definitely feel like I can get better with some things and hopefully improve by the time I get to East Lake."
Casey doesn’t want to see an even-better Johnson.
"I ran into a buzz saw with Dustin Johnson the last two days," he said. "I did everything I could. I hold my head up high that it was a great fight."
Roberto Castro (67) finished in solo third and jumped from 53rd in the standings to 21st to be one of the top 30 to advance to The Tour Championship by Coca-Cola, the FedExCup playoff finale in two weeks.
Defending champion and world No. 1 Jason Day withdrew from the tournament after he tweaked his back on the ninth hole.
Johnson will be one of captain Davis Love III’s players in three weeks when the U.S. meets Europe in the Ryder Cup at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Minnesota. Love will fill out most of his roster Monday when he selects three of his four captain’s picks at 11 a.m. ET at Hazeltine.
Steve DiMeglio, USA Today