Monday 23 October 2017

Harrington finds form as Johnson goes fourth

Mark Garrod

Dustin Johnson moved up to a career-high fourth in the world after his victory in the first of the FedEx Cup play-off events in New Jersey.

It was also a good weekend for Ireland's Padraig Harrington, who finished joint 13th and climbed to 80th on the points list after closing with a 69, which left him seven shots behind the winner.

Johnson fired a six-under 65 to secure a two-shot win over US Ryder Cup team-mate Matt Kuchar at The Barclays, which was cut to 54 holes because of Hurricane Irene.

Holder Kuchar began the day one ahead of Johnson and Vijay Singh and was tied with his fellow American at 19-under before taking three-putt bogeys on the par-five 12th and par-four 13th.

An eagle two at the fourth from a greenside bunker gave Johnson an early lead as the big-hitter blitzed his way to a six-under 29 on the front nine.


He feasted on the outward half in every round, shooting 29 on Friday and 30 in the opening round for a cumulative 17-under par on that nine.

Justin Rose and Brian Davis were the leading Europeans in joint sixth place and that was good enough to make Rose yet another player to go past Tiger Woods in the rankings.

Woods, who failed to qualify for the play-offs, will be down to 38th when the new list is officially released today.

Harrington only just made it into last week's 125-strong field, and the result keeps him in the four-event series, with 100 playing in the Deutsche Bank Championship, the second tournament of the four-event series that pays the overall winner a $10m bonus.

While pleased with his performance, Harrington will need to step up a gear in Boston next weekend as only 70 will make it to the BMW Championship in Chicago on September 15-18 and then a mere 30 into the following week's Tour Championship in Atlanta.

Irish Independent

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