Johnson clinches title with late show

Sun 03 Nov 2013

Johnson clinches title with late show

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Shanghai, November 3: Dustin Johnson of the United States fended off the challenges of defending champion Ian Poulter and Northern Ireland’s Graeme McDowell by staging a late comeback with a final round six-under-par 66 to win the WGC-HSBC Champions on Sunday.
Trailing by one shot with six holes to play, the Ryder Cup star proved his title credentials by firing three birdies and an eagle to seal a three-shot victory with his winning total of 24-under-par 264 at the Sheshan International Golf Club.
Poulter had to settle for second place after he closed with a 66 while McDowell also signed for a 66 to finish in third place.
China’s Liang Wen-chong emerged as the highest-ranked Asian after he also posted a 66 to take a share of 15th place with Major winner Louis Oosthuizen of South Africa at the year’s final World Golf Championship.
"I stuck to my game plan, and obviously I played really well on the last few holes of the front nine and had a great back nine.  But the guys, they made it really interesting, and you know, I just played really good coming down the stretch,” said Johnson.
“This is probably my biggest win, and with the field and the tournament, World Golf Championships, hopefully this is a sign of better things to come,” added the American.
Having started his final round with a three-shot lead, Johnson saw his advantage wiped out after two holes.
A three-putt bogey at the first hole from Johnson, combined with two opening birdies from Poulter, saw the pair tied on 17-under.
It became a tight affair at the top of the leaderboard as McDowell set off with a scorching pace by firing three birdies in his opening three holes.
Birdies on the eighth and ninth holes got Johnson back into a share of the lead and although Poulter edged in front with a birdie on the 12th hole, Johnson matched his efforts with birdies on the 13th and 14th holes to set up a titanic finish.
Johnson’s turning point came at the par-four 16th when he chipped in for eagle before going on to hit a glorious tee-shot at the par three 17th and holed an eight-footer for birdie.
After dropping his only shot a t the 15th, Poulter bravely holed a 12-foot birdie on the 16th to reduce Johnson’s advantage to two.
He was however left to watch Johnson restore his three-shot advantage after another birdie on the 17th.
“I guess it was a good defence.  Obviously I’m a little disappointed not to put my hands back on the trophy, but 15 birdies and an eagle at the weekend is some pretty good golf,” said Poulter.
“I'm in great form, I really am playing well. The work I've done, obviously leading up to this run of tournaments has really worked and I couldn't be hitting it any better right now and obviously rolling a few putts in,” added Poulter.
While McDowell could not hide his disappointment on missing out on another grandstand finish, he took consolation in his weekend performance.
“There’s obviously a pang of disappointment, but I’m generally just very proud of myself and the way I played this week tee to green. I didn't make a bogey all weekend and hit some really quality golf shots   Dustin Johnson was in a different league off the tee and gave us a little bit of a sniff and then promptly slammed the door, so there was a lot of fun and I really enjoyed it,” said McDowell.
Scores after round 4 of the WGC - HSBC Champions being played at the par 72, 7266 Yards Sheshan International Golf Club course (a- denotes amateur):
264 - Dustin JOHNSON (USA) 69-63-66-66.
267 - Ian POULTER (ENG) 71-67-63-66.
268 - Graeme MCDOWELL (NIR) 69-69-64-66.
270 - Sergio GARCIA (ESP) 70-68-69-63.
272 - Justin ROSE (ENG) 68-71-65-68.
273 - Rory MCILROY (NIR) 65-72-67-69, Graham DELAET (CAN) 71-68-65-69.
274 - Jamie DONALDSON (WAL) 67-74-66-67, Bubba WATSON (USA) 68-69-69-68, Martin KAYMER (GER) 70-74-62-68.
275 - Ernie ELS (RSA) 69-69-71-66, Keegan BRADLEY (USA) 71-68-68-68, Boo WEEKLEY (USA) 70-67-69-69.
276 - Phil MICKELSON (USA) 71-68-72-65.
277 - LIANG Wen-chong (CHN) 72-67-72-66, Louis OOSTHUIZEN (RSA) 70-70-70-67.
278 - Jordan SPIETH (USA) 68-71-70-69.
279 - Jin JEONG (KOR) 70-69-71-69, Tommy FLEETWOOD (ENG) 68-70-69-72.
280 - Paul CASEY (ENG) 69-73-69-69.
281 - Scott PIERCY (USA) 72-73-68-68, Jaco VAN ZYL (RSA) 72-73-68-68, Bill HAAS (USA) 72-72-69-68, Mikko ILONEN (FIN) 72-69-72-68, Peter HANSON (SWE) 70-73-70-68, Matteo MANASSERO (ITA) 72-70-70-69, Francesco MOLINARI (ITA) 72-69-70-70, Gregory BOURDY (FRA) 75-68-67-71, Bo VAN PELT (USA) 77-67-66-71, Scott HEND (AUS) 69-74-66-72.
282 - Nick WATNEY (USA) 75-74-67-66, Luke DONALD (ENG) 70-71-70-71, Henrik STENSON (SWE) 74-76-67-65.
283 - HUANG WenYi (CHN) 70-74-69-70, Billy HORSCHEL (USA) 71-69-72-71, Mark BROWN (NZL) 72-68-72-71, Kevin STREELMAN (USA) 70-73-72-68, Jason DUFNER (USA) 73-67-71-72.
284 - Branden GRACE (RSA) 77-71-67-69, David LYNN (ENG) 74-70-69-71, Chris WOOD (ENG) 71-71-73-69, Thomas BJORN (DEN) 74-72-70-68, LI Hao Tong (CHN) 72-71-74-67, Gonzalo FDEZ-CASTANO (ESP) 67-71-70-76, Richard STERNE (RSA) 74-73-74-63.
285 - Jimmy WALKER (USA) 73-73-69-70, Thongchai JAIDEE (THA) 76-68-68-73, Ken DUKE (USA) 70-72-73-70, Brian GAY (USA) 71-72-72-70.
286 - Hiroyuki FUJITA (JPN) 75-70-68-73, Michael THOMPSON (USA) 74-72-68-72, Ryan MOORE (USA) 70-74-69-73, Masahiro KAWAMURA (JPN) 73-72-70-71, Michael HENDRY (NZL) 72-73-73-68.
287 - Rickie FOWLER (USA) 74-70-70-73, Kiradech APHIBARNRAT (THA) 69-78-68-72, Lee WESTWOOD (ENG) 71-73-68-75, John MERRICK (USA) 72-75-69-71, Brandt SNEDEKER (USA) 73-74-70-70, Peter UIHLEIN (USA) 71-73-73-70.
288 - Derek ERNST (USA) 71-72-73-72, Darren FICHARDT (RSA) 70-74-75-69.
289 - Gaganjeet BHULLAR (IND) 69-71-75-74, Stephen GALLACHER (SCO) 73-73-72-71, Jonas BLIXT (SWE) 70-75-74-70.
290 - Daniel POPOVIC (AUS) 77-71-69-73, Ryo ISHIKAWA (JPN) 81-72-68-69.
291 - D.A. POINTS (USA) 72-74-70-75, WU Ashun (CHN) 74-75-70-72.
292 - David HOWELL (ENG) 72-75-73-72.
293 - BAEK Seuk-hyun (KOR) 81-68-69-75.
295 - Miguel Angel JIMENEZ (ESP) 75-76-70-74.
296 - Raphael JACQUELIN (FRA) 81-70-71-74.
297 - George COETZEE (RSA) 75-77-74-71.
299 - HU Mu (CHN) 76-75-73-75.
303 - Brett RUMFORD (AUS) 75-77-79-72.
323 - HUANG Ming-Jie (CHN) 83-77-80-83.
Hideki MATSUYAMA, Japan - WD
Ends.
About the Asian Tour
In 2013, the Asian Tour will celebrate a momentous milestone with its 10th season. As the official sanctioning body for professional golf in Asia, the Asian Tour leads the development of golf across the region, enhancing the careers of its members while maintaining a commitment to the integrity of the game. The Asian Tour, through its membership of the International Federation of PGA Tours, is the only recognised pan-Asian professional golf tour in Asia. This unique feature positions the Asian Tour at the pinnacle of professional golf in Asia; providing its events with Official World Ranking status. Tour Partners include Abacus (Official Apparel Partner), Inetol Headwear (Official Headwear Supplier), Saxo Capital Markets (Official Statistics Partner), Singha Beer (Official Beer), Srixon (Official Ball), Subway (Official Quick Service Restaurant), Starwood Hotels and Resorts (Official Hotels and Resorts) and Rolex (Official Timekeeper). The Asian Tour has offices in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. Also, visit us at www.asiantour.com, www.facebook.com/asiantourgolf, www.twitter.com/asiantourgolf, www.youtube.com/theasiantour and www.weibo.com/asiantourgolf.